3,000 Carnations: Palm Springs Flower Drop

A moving and singular Memorial Day tribute happens in the desert each year.

A COLORFUL TRADITION: There are many ways to observe Memorial Day, almost all of them traditional and full of meaning, memory, and a stirring remembrance speech or two. Nearly every town has a parade, and perhaps concert, to pay tribute to the men and women who have served our country. Some places do fly-overs and re-enactments, while others host a veterans gathering during the day. But the Palm Springs Air Museum has one of the most unusual, visual, and moving of all the California events that fill up the last Monday in May. Yes, there is the pomp and circumstance that one expects and wants from a Memorial Day happening, but there are also carnations. Many, many carnations. Some 3,000 red and white carnations are dropped by a B-25 aircraft (a plane owned by the plane-minded museum). Onlookers pick up and keep the flowers, symbols of the day and what it stands for. Want to see this unique tribute? Be at the museum, which is on Gene Autry Trail, at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 26.

THERE'S MORE TO THE HOLIDAY, THOUGH... so feel free to arrive early. "Family and air activities are scheduled all day long," reads the site. A Memorial Day program is planned, and other to-dos keeping within the somber and reflective mood of the event, an event that is "dedicated to our fallen comrades, who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms." If you've never seen a flower drop, perhaps this is the year.

OPEN HOURS: If you can't visit the museum on Memorial Day, be sure to swing by another day to take a gander at the vintage aircraft. A North American P51 Mustang, a Grumman F7F Tigercat, and several other machines of the skies are on display.

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