While for many Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, it is first and foremost a day to honor the men and women who have died while serving our country in the armed forces. But what about the veterans who have returned from deployment and face dealing with the trauma experienced in combat? According to a 2016 VA report, an average of 20 veterans die by suicide EVERY DAY. Organizations like @thesoldiersproject are working to reduce stigma and propogate mental health resources within the military community. For ways you can help “heal the hidden wounds of war”, head over to their website, and don’t forget to give them a follow on their social media pages, because spreading awareness can be as simple as a click. #memorialday #mentalhealthawareness #veteransuicideawareness #stopthestigma
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If you're planning to stay local this long weekend, here are our picks for some low cost family friendly activities around LA!
1. WE RISE - If you have yet to check out this 10 day festival in Downtown LA, we highly recommend RSVPing to one of their events this weekend. Capping off Mental Health Awareness Month, the pop-up kicks off at 10 A.M. and offers a variety of wellness-based activities for all ages; from yoga, meditation and drum circles to interactive art projects, dance workshops, and film screenings. Special guests will host discussions on topics including online bullying, the connection between art and mental health, and the impact of systemic community trauma.
For a complete breakdown of their schedule, head over to the website. All events are FREE, but don't forget to RSVP!
1726 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
2. Street Food Cinema - It's open air theatre season once again, and for an adventure flick the whole family can enjoy, head over to Will Rodgers State Park tomorrow evening. At 8:30, Raiders of the Lost Ark will hit the big screen, but we recommend arriving early to enjoy the fare from some food trucks favorites Wise BBQ, Go Beyond the Bowl and more. General admission is $14, and $6 for kids aged 6-12 (youngsters enter free of charge). Parking will cost you $10, and don't forget to buy your tickets ahead of time online here!
1501 Will Rogers State Park Road,
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
3. Forest Lawn Memorial Day Ceremonies - When it comes to honoring the fallen members of our armed forces, there are dozens of observances held all across the city. This year we have chosen to highlight a more traditional ceremony hosted by the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. From 10 A.M. to 11 A.M., highlights will include a keynote address, rifle salute, Color Guard and more. After paying your respects, we suggest heading just over the hill to the nearby grounds of Griffith Park or Lake Hollywood for an afternoon picnic or hike!
6300 Forest Lawn Dr,
Los Angeles, CA 90068