(UNDATED) - Memorial Day is a national holiday, honoring American military personnel who lost their lives in service to the nation.
The weekend has even broader significance in Indiana.
The 500 festival committee traditionally opens the weekend with an early Memorial Day ceremony on Friday.
The 500 Festival Parade was Saturday in Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis 500, the greatest spectacle in racing, took place on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
The New Castle/Henry County Chamber of Commerce boasts the biggest parade actually held on Monday, Memorial Day.
The first day of summer is in late June, but the holiday weekend is seen as summer's unofficial beginning.
Families go boating, camping and picnicking.
As always, this year's long holiday weekend brings many such activities as well as the parades, sporting events, even Memorial Day weekend train rides at four locations, the French Lick Scenic Railway, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, the Indiana Transportation museum in Noblesville and the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville.
In Middlebury, American Legion post 210 planed an all-night vigil Sunday night and Monday morning at Graceland cemetery.
Nearly 400 small lights will be set up throughout the cemetery, in honor of all service members from Middlebury who have died in combat or after their service.
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