The first official recognition of Memorial Day was proclaimed by Gen. John Logan as a national day of remembrance for those who died in the Civil War. Eventually, it became a holiday honoring Americans who died fighting in any war, and we pay tribute to these courageous men and women on the last Monday in May with various public celebrations and a repose from our jobs.
If you prefer a more formal homage, the Planet recommends "Sun, Sand & Symphony," a patriotic musical salute commemorating the holiday, featuring The Florida Orchestra and vocalists Joey Daniels and Jon Secada. (Yep, that Jon Secada.) Performances take place at 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat., May 27 and 28 (but fireworks are flying high after Friday's gig only. Consider yourself warned), at Gulf Boulevard and 104th Avenue on Treasure Island Beach (813-286-1170).
There's also the Memorial Day Sunset Ceremony in Largo. This year's special guest speaker is Johnnie Clark, a Marine vet who was awarded the Silver Star for valor and author of the book Gunner's Glory: Untold Stories of Marine Machine Gunners. The ceremony's at 7 p.m. Mon., May 30, at James S. Miles & Richard A. Leandri Military Court of Honor, Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo, 727-587-6775.