Top Memorial Day Destinations

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the busiest vacation times for Americans. People from all around our great nation are packing, scanning the Internet for vacation deals and anticipating spending time with loved ones. However, as we all know, this holiday is not just about enjoying a three day weekend. It is about honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. One way to do this is by visiting one of the many museums in the nation dedicated to our fallen comrades. Here is a list of some of the most visited memorials in the nation.

  • National Infantry Museum: Located in Fort Benning, GA this $100 million museum includes displays from the Siege of Yorktown to the war in Iraq. Visitors can even try out the facility’s combat and rifle range simulators.
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps: Located in Triangle, VA: This museum provides a total immersion experience for visitors.
  • National World War II Museum: This museum does an excellent job of relaying the experience and magnitude of World War II. Visitors can even hear films narrated by Tom Hanks (who starred in ‘Saving Private Ryan’) and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is an emotional experience and an educational one as well.
  • S. Naval Academy Museum: This museum located in Annapolis, Md., pays tribute to the role the Navy has played in our securing and maintaining our nation’s freedom.
  • Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum and the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum: This museum has displays dating back to the 1870s. The nearby field artillery museum has an impressive display of military technology housed there.
  • National WWI Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri: This museum pays tribute to that often forgotten war. There are over 75,000 items displayed there as it is one of Kansas City’s top tourist destinations.
  • National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida: This museum is a tribute to naval air power. It even hosts a superb collection of over 150 aircraft, a flight simulator and the immersive Blue Angels 4D experience.memorial day

Yes, we know that visitors to our site would never forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. These museums are reminders to the rest of us how freedom is an American birthright. Show your pride wherever you decide to vacation with a Marine Corps jacket or USMC jewelry.

Opha May Johnson: A Tribute

The history of women in the United States armed forces is a long and complicated one. Even before they were allowed to officially enlist in the services, women still contributed in supporting the defense of the nation as spies, nurses and even secret soldiers. During the revolutionary war, Prudence “Prue” Cummings Wright, who had just lost two children, became leader of “Mrs. David Wright’s Guard. However, for the most part these women were not officially recognized to be members of the branches in which they served. That changed with one woman Opha May Johnson who was the first known woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. She joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1918, officially becoming the first female Marine.

ohpa_may_johnson

Background

Johnson was born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1879. It was there that she graduated from Wood’s Commercial College and was expected to lead a typical life for a woman of the time. On August 13, 1918, Johnson joined the Marine Corps Reserve during World War I. At that time, Johnson enlisted along with 300 other women. (Due to her good fortune, she happened to be the first in line to do so.) Although her main duties as a Marine were clerical in nature, Johnson put into her work the same amount of zeal that she had used her whole life up to that point.

Her Legacy

Unfortunately, much of the progress that women in the armed services had made up to that point was slowly eroded as the Marine Corps began to steadily dis-enroll women who had enlisted to help out during the war. However, a few decades later Congress would pass the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948. This act acknowledges the trail blazing women like Johnson and others and is behind the fact that there are now approximately 1.4 million women serving in the U.S. armed forces including 14, 000 in the Marines.

Johnson was all about demonstrating her pride in the greatest organization in the world which now benefits greatly from the contributions of both sexes in the defense of our country. You can further demonstrate your pride in the Corps by purchasing one of our USMC novelties and USMC home décor items. Our gift items are quality made in the USA and are an attractive way to add a special touch to your home whether you reside in on or off base housing.