A Day of Remembrance

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What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior.
—Walt Whitman

Memorial Day takes on a renewed significance after the latest date to live in infamy: Sept. 11, 2001.

For some, it may be little more than the unofficial start of summer, a beach day, a day for barbecuing. But we've got an awful lot of freedom to be thankful for, and it never hurts to show some reverent appreciation.

Officially observed the last Monday of May, Memorial Day falls this year on May 27. The following are a few (mostly free) activities for your weekend planning.

Florida International Museum has a permanent 10,000-square-foot exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis, highlighting the tense military standoff of October 1962. The museum offers free admission for veterans and active military personnel on Memorial Day weekend; $12 for adults, $6 for students, free for kids under 6. Florida International Museum, 100 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. 727-822-3693.

City of Largo presents a Memorial Day Ceremony at 7 p.m., May 27, in Largo Central Park. The ceremony includes a color guard presentation and words from keynote speaker Col. Jacqueline Smith, Army Nurse. Largo Central Park, corner of East Bay Drive and Seminole Boulevard, Largo. 727-587-6775.

The SS American Victory — which served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War as a cargo carrier — is now open to the public for self-guided tours. Admission costs $6 for adults, $3 for kids 6-12 and free for children under 5. SS American Victory, docked adjacent to the Florida Aquarium, Tampa. 813-228-8766.

Veterans Memorial Museum and Park has a permanent tribute to America's fighting men and women, Walk Through Time, a walk through military history from 1590 through Desert Storm. Admission's free, but donations are accepted. Veterans Memorial Museum and Park, 3602 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. 813-744-5502.

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