Memorial Day Events in Southeast Texas
Beaumont – Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Beaumont invites the public to a Memorial Day Salute on Monday, May 27 starting at 10 a.m. 4955 Pine Street in Beaumont. The Southeast Texas Veterans Service Group will present the colors at the ceremony honoring fallen soldiers in all branches of the armed services. Community leaders and veterans will speak at the event with special music by Deanetta Stark. The Southeast Texas Veterans Service Group will them perform a 3 volleys rifle salute and taps prior to retiring the colors. David Rutledge will play bagpipes at the memorial service, and the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 292 will close out the day with a flag retirement ceremony. Food and refreshments are to be provided, compliments of Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home and prepared by the Masonic Lodge #287.
Orange – Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, in Orange, Texas, will host a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 27, 2013. The ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m., and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating.
The program will begin with the singing of the National Anthem by Eric Arceneaux, a six-year Navy veteran and Shangri La staff member. He will also perform an A Cappella rendition of America, the Beautiful. Following Arceneaux, Vietnam veteran and Shangri La volunteer Charlie Rothrock will speak briefly about the importance of Memorial Day and the significance of the holiday in honoring fallen soldiers. The ceremony will include a ringing of the Great Bell, followed by a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. Concluding the event will be a bugle performance of Taps by Will Poppe, a student at Lamar University.
"Memorial Day offers a time of remembrance and a day to honor the many brave men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces," said Joseph Johnson, Interim Director of Shangri La. “We are honored to commemorate the military sacrifices made for our country by hosting a presentation on this important holiday.”
Shangri La will be open throughout Memorial Day, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., for visitors of all ages. Public outpost tours will be offered throughout the day and both the Garden Store and the Star and Crescent Moon Café will be open to serve visitors. The Memorial Day Ceremony will be included with paid admission to Shangri La. For more information, visit www.shangrilagardens.org.
Located at 2111 W. Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for STARK Cultural Venues members. Admission fees for the Gardens at Shangri La are $6.00 for adults; $5.00 for seniors (age 65 and up), students (with ID), and youth (age 10-17); $2.00 for children (age 4-9); and free for toddlers (age 3 and under). Outpost tour fees are in addition to Gardens' admissions, and visitors are reminded that participants of an outpost tour must be 4 years of age or older. Group tours are available by advanced registration.
A ringing of the Great Bell at the entrance of Shangri La, followed by a moment of silence, will take place at 3 p.m. during the Memorial Day Ceremony on May 27.
Celebrate Memorial Day during this program honoring fallen soldiers at Shangri La.
Port Arthur – All veterans will be honored at the May 27 Memorial Day service at the Golden Triangle Veterans Memorial Park, 8100 Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur, according to an announcement from Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick's office.
Entertainment at the event includes a concert that will start at 2 p.m., and the Memorial Day program begins at 2:30.
Submarine veterans have secured a new exhibit, an MK-16 torpedo, which is being mounted adding to the fine exhibits already secured by VFW Post 4820.
"We encourage any and all to attend and pay tribute to all who have served our country," the announcement read.
Houston – If you are traveling to or through Houston, celebrate Memorial Day with a special Memorial Day Service to be held on Monday, May 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive.
“This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce that Texas Air National Guard Commander, Colonel Kurt L. Leslie, will give the Memorial Day address,” according to a news release from the VA. “Leslie serves as the 147th Maintenance Group Commander, 147th Reconnaissance Wing, Texas Air National Guard, at Ellington Joint Reserve Base, in Houston, and has extensive experience in providing global combat maintenance support for MQ-1 Predator systems and aircraft. Leslie served in the United States Air Force for over eight years before joining the Texas Air National Guard. He was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and again in 2007.”
In addition to Leslie’s remarks, the event will feature a parade of colors and wreaths by numerous local Veterans’ organizations, ROTC units, and Boy and Girl Scout troops. All Boy and Girl Scout organizations in southeast Texas are invited to attend.
There will also be many symbolic highlights including a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard; a performance of Taps; a cannon salute; Amazing Grace performed by Ian Martin; and a rifle salute by the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4. Peggy Slay, president of the Houston Gold Star Mothers, will lead the pledge of allegiance.
The Houston VA National Cemetery is the second largest national cemetery in the region, encompassing some 419 acres of a former dairy farm in northwest Houston. Guests who wish to visit gravesites are encouraged to arrive prior to 8 a.m. or after 1 p.m. following the Memorial Day service.
The Memorial Day Service, honoring deceased United States servicemen and women, is free and open to the public.