David L. Ryan/Globe staff
First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers in the aftermath of the Civil War, Memorial Day was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. In addition to local parades and commemorations, here are some ways the whole family can celebrate America's heroes:
"Military Heroes Garden of Flags on the Boston Common," Boston Common, Boston. Through sundown Mon., May 27. View 33,000 American flags on Boston Common. Each flag represents a service member from Massachusetts who gave his or her life defending the country since the Civil War to the present day.
"Memorial Day Weekend Family Fun at the USS Constitution Museum," Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown. Sat., May 25 - Mon., May 27, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free (donations welcome). Learn about the life of a marine and sailor at sea by learning to march, using the tools of the seafarer’s trade, exploring everyday life on board USS Constitution, and making an officer’s hat. Young sailors can purchase a 'Build a Ship' activity to take home or make at the museum ($2). www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org
"Free Memorial Day Community Weekend," Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Sat., May 25 - Mon., May 27, 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Free. Celebration theme is "Boston I Love." Enjoy special exhibitions -- including three paintings on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- art making, gallery tours, family activities, and a community art project. All on-site contributions this weekend will be donated to The One Fund Boston. www.mfa.org
Find more Memorial Day events around Boston.
Also, check out these family-friendly ideas for fun around Boston on a rainy day.
Whatever you wind up doing, don't forget to share your Memorial Day weekend photos with us!
(Photo sent in by Rachel of Mansfield).
About Parent Buzz
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.