Monday, May 30 is Memorial Day, a day dedicated to honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country while serving in the armed forces. Here in the Midlands, several events will allow participants to honor the fallen, surrounded by the community.
- The Downtown Columbia YMCA will host the Race to Remember on Saturday, May 28 at 8 a.m. The event will include a 5K walk or run and kids’ one-mile fun run.The YMCA encourages participants to carry a flag or wear dog tags while they run or walk, to remember and honor military personnel. Proceeds from the race will support the YMCA’s Annual Campaign and the YMCA Membership Scholarship for a veteran. Registration is required. Register by 4:59 p.m. on May 27. Learn more here.
- The Raise the Colors Remembrance Run will kick off Memorial Day at 7 a.m. at Savage Craft Ale Works in West Columbia. The event will focus on a Murph workout, which is a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another mile run all while wearing a weighted vest. Serve & Connect, a nonprofit organization focused on police-community relationships, will host the event. Participants can choose to do simpler versions of the Murph, based on ability. Registration is required. Register by 11:59 p.m. on May 29. Learn more here.
- A similar event will take place on Monday in Irmo at 7 a.m. Project Ruck will offer participants a 5-mile or 10-mile run across the Lake Murray Dam. After the run, there will be a Murph workout. Project Ruck encourages the community to come out and honor fallen soldiers, and the event will be free for all participants. Advance registration is required. Learn more here.
- The Veterans of Foreign War Post 6740 will host a Memorial Day service Monday at 9 a.m. at 950 Rock N Creek Road in Leesville. There will be coffee and doughnuts, a welcome and call to order service, more refreshments, then the Doolittle Raiders 80th Anniversary Remembrance Presentation. The purpose of this event is to remember and honor fallen soldiers. Registration is not required. Learn more here.
- American Legion Post 193 and the Town of Chapin will host a Memorial Day ceremony at the Chapin Town Hall, starting at 10 a.m. on Monday. The ceremony will include a guest speaker, color guard performance, firing detail and bugler. There will be a reception following the ceremony, where attendees will have the chance to speak with veterans and active duty members of the military. Organizations including Quilts of Valor of SC, Big Red Barn, Homes for Troops and Freedom of Hope will be in attendance. Registration is not required. Learn more here.
- The Fort Jackson National Cemetery will host a solemn Memorial Day commemoration ceremony on Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The ceremony will be the first public Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery since 2019. Guests are invited to Flag Plaza in the cemetery to watch a wreath laying ceremony, speeches and a rifle salute and join in a moment of silence. The keynote speaker will be Brigadier General Patrick R. Michaelis.
- The Columbia chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America will also host a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday. The event will take place in Memorial Park, at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall. The wall is dedicated to individuals who sacrificed their lives for their country during the Vietnam War. The event will include music, guest speakers and a remembrance ceremony. Friends and family members of fallen soldiers are encouraged to contact chapter 303 of Vietnam Veterans of America to arrange a special mention of their loved one during the ceremony. Learn more here.
- For people unable to attend any of these Memorial Day events, a simple yet powerful gesture could be the best way to celebrate the holiday. The National Moment of Remembrance, which is meant to be a unifying experience of remembrance for all, will happen at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day. Americans across the country are invited topause for 60 seconds of silence to think about and honor fallen American heroes. Learn more here.