Cemetery rites and picnic mark Memorial Day here

American Legion Post 10 will honor late members of the organization at the San Antonio de Escazú cemetery. The legion owns a mausoleum there for its members who have passed away.

The Memorial Day ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Two hours later the legion and the Marine Corps League will host a community Memorial Day picnic for the public until 5 p.m.

The location is Villa Amira, a quinta next to the gas station at the entrance of Santa Ana on the old Escazú-Santa Ana Road. The veterans organizations are promising a back home-style picnic with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans. The admission is 6,000 colons, about $12 with a cash bar for beer.

An announcement said that there was wheelchair access. For more information on the picnic and directions, those interested can call John Moran at 2232-1680, Mel Goldberg at 2288-0464, Claudio Pacheco at 8876-1394 and other members at 2243-0466 and 8312-0126.

Memorial Day is a legal holiday in the United States but not in Costa Rica. So the U.S. Embassy is closed Monday, according to an announcement.

In addition to honoring veterans in the United States, Memorial Day is considered the start of the summer vacation season. For Costa Rica this means another wave of tourists.

Americans in the north are observing a three-day Memorial Day weekend with ceremonies, parades, sporting events and picnics.

The last Monday in May of each year is designated as Memorial Day, a time to place flowers on military gravesites and honor the U.S. servicemen and women who gave their lives in service of the country.

At Arlington National Cemetery near Washington and many other national cemeteries, volunteers place a small American flag on every military grave. Thousands of motorcycle riders from a nationwide group called Rolling Thunder stage a ceremonial ride into the nation’s capital, to call attention to veterans’ issues and to remember service members who went missing in action.

Public television and radio was to broadcast a Sunday evening concert from the National Mall featuring retired Army general and former secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as other prominent public figures.

Ceremonies also will be held at several of the war memorials in the nation’s capital and around the country.

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