Red, white and blue will paint the country over the weekend, because Memorial Day is upon us.
While the celebration, originally known as Decoration Day, started after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead, it now celebrates all military personnel who’ve died in service.
Since 1968 when Congress officially established it as a federal holiday, it has been observed on the last Monday in May.
Want to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers? Metro Atlanta has plenty of observance programs to help you commemorate the occasion. Take a look at the roundup to decide how you’ll spend the day of remembrance.
Marietta National Cemetery
For 72 years, the National Memorial Day Association of Georgia has encouraged the community to give reverence to U.S. veterans at its annual ceremony. This year is no different as current and retired military servicemen will lead the program.
Noon May 28. Free. Marietta National Cemetery, 500 Washington Ave. NE, Marietta. nmdaga.org.
Gwinnett’s Fallen Heroes Memorial
This service pays tribute to Gwinnett residents who have died in the line of duty. From older vets to the most recent casualties, the neighborhood will applaud the troops for their dedication to the country.
1-2 p.m. May 28. Free. Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville. gwinnettcounty.com.
Coined as the “Largest Memorial Day Ceremony in Georgia,” this event attracts approximately 7,000 people each year. It will include bagpipe and bugle music, a 21-gun salute and a wreath laying. Following the service, locals can also delight in the picnic and concert right after.
10 a.m. May 28. Free. Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill St., Roswell. roswellmemorialday.com.
City of Smyrna Memorial Day Ceremony
Organized by the Smyrna Veterans Committee, the occasion praises those who sacrificed in defense of our nation. It will include musical acts, a wreath-laying ceremony and a host of speakers.
9:30 a.m. May 28. Free. Twentieth Century Veterans Memorial, 2800 King St. SE, Smyrna. smyrnacity.com.
Memorial Day at Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is hosting a special program to commemorate the holiday. During the service, attendees will not only honor former and current servicemen and women but also those who are missing or were killed in action.
12 p.m. May 28. Free for active and former military members, 30 percent off general admission for family members. Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St, Atlanta. georgiaaquarium.org.