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Boston Area's Best Memorial Day Celebrations

Memorial Day is a time to remember and appreciate the service men and women who fought and died for the United States of America. Those who want to demonstrate their appreciation in Boston this year have several options. The city offers up a number of places and events around Memorial Day.

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File Image (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Service Of Commemoration
Mount Auburn Cemetery
580 Mount Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-7105
Date: May 22, 2013 at 5 p.m.

Mount Auburn Cemetery has made it a tradition to assemble on the Bigelow Chapel lawn annually to show thanks to those who gave their lives in service. The hour-long Service of Commemoration involves reverent speeches and music in honor of the fallen. Visitors can spend some time exploring this beautifully landscaped historic cemetery before congregating on the lawn. The service is held rain or shine, though guests will be invited indoors if it is raining.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston external facade
Museum of Fine Arts (credit:

Community Open House
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 267-9300
Date: May 27, 2013

Memorial Day is one of the Museum of Fine Arts' community open house days. That means general admission to this extensive museum is free to everyone. Exhibitions active on this day include "New Blue and White," "Triumph of the Winter Queen" and "East 100th Street" from Bruce Davidson. Search for art depicting soldiers who lost their lives fighting in America's wars, such as "Joseph Warren" by John Singleton Copley, in the Art of the Americas Wing.

Related: War Memorials in the U.S


Boarding Party & Collections Open House
USS Constitution Museum
22 Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 426-1812
Date: May 16, 2013 at 6 p.m.

The USS Constitution Museum complements the USS Constitution, despite the two being run by separate entities. The museum itself is free. However, this event is $30 for a boarding party ticket and is for adults only. People who wish to sponsor the museum can opt for one of the sponsorship tickets, which are significantly more expensive. Guests get to see the pieces in the museum's "Men of Iron" collection and much more. Be ready to drink some rum like the sailors of the U.S. Navy's early years, as well, since there will be a tasting to choose the museum's 2013 Signature Drink.

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(credit: Thinkstock)

Garden Of Flags
Boston Common
Boston, MA 02111

Boston Common features the "Soldiers and Sailors Monument" atop a hill overlooking the Common and even offers a view of the adjacent Public Gardens. On Memorial Day, the grass around the monument becomes a sea of small American flags. These are a tribute to the men and women who died fighting for this country. It is a wonderful place to sit off to the side for a family picnic and teach the children about this nation's military history or just to sit quietly and give a few thoughts to those we have lost.

Related: Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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