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memorial day

An American flag blows in the wind.
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Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect and relax. There are many events happening across Florida and the United States in honor of  the holiday. Below, you will find plenty of parades, concerts, and commemorative events to fill your weekend.

After a rise before the Memorial Day weekend, gas prices in Florida are expected to drop. AAA says oil prices are dropping and gas is expected to follow.

In Florida the average gallon of unleaded is $2.91. That’s compared to the national average of $2.97, said AAA spokesman Josh Carrasco.

“What we do expect is that gas prices should decline probably five to ten cents over the next few weeks,” said Carrasco.

Orlando has one of the lowest gas price averages in the state at $2.88 a gallon.

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We have compiled a list of Memorial Day events within the Tampa Bay area and across Florida, taking place Friday through Monday. With Subtropical Storm Alberto expected to mean rain for much of the area throughout the weekend, we'll try to keep this list updated with any cancellations or other changes.

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With the national average gas price averaging $2.93, travelers are paying the highest Memorial Day weekend prices since 2014, which reached $3.65. However, AAA predicts these rising gas prices will not put a damper on Floridians’ travel plans this holiday weekend.

A towering oak tree draped with Spanish moss offers little relief from the Florida sun as Andrew Lumish scrubs grime from the headstone of a World War I veteran.

"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he says. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here."

Lumish, who has so far cleaned about 600 veterans' headstones, says he restores them out of respect for those who died and to learn about how they lived.

Environmental groups are encouraging Floridians to be careful of shorebirds when they head to the beach for the holiday weekend.  Nick Evans has more.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The American Homefront Project talks with service members and veterans about who they're remembering this Memorial Day.

Memorial Day can be especially difficult for relatives of service members who died by suicide. They often feel stigmatized, even around other military families.

This week is National Safe Boating Week, and with Florida wildlife officials expecting increased turnout on the water for the Memorial Day weekend, they’re hoping boaters will wear life jackets.

Gas pump in Jacksonville, Florida.
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Floridians planning a long day trip for the Memorial Day holiday can breathe a little easier.

AAA, the auto club, released a report estimating that Memorial Day gas prices will be the lowest they’ve been for the past 11 years.

This week is National Safe Boating Week. It kicked off right around the start of Florida’s boating season.

The Patterson Foundation

You can locate a VA National Cemetery nearest you that is holding a 2015 Memorial Day Ceremony HERE.

MONDAY - MAY 25, 2015

Barrancas National Cemetery
Naval Air Station
1 Cemetery Road
Pensacola, FL 32508
(850) 453-4108 or 453-4846
Ceremony: May 25 at 9:00 a.m.

BOBBIE O'BRIEN / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

The hospitalized veterans at Tampa's James A. Haley VA, like many Americans on this Memorial Day, will be able to munch on burgers and hotdogs  at a good old-fashioned barbecue thanks to members of the Tampa law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP.

Upon learning that the Haley VA had to cancel the barbecue for about 150 veterans because their sponsor dropped out, the firm agreed to step up and cover the cost.

Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Gas prices have been dropping all week just in time for the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. That means you can expect more drivers on the road.

The average price of gas is $3.41 Tampa-- slipping by more than 30 cents from the average price a month ago.

AAA says the lower gas prices could mean more drivers on the road.

AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady says they're estimating 1.6 million Florida residents will hit the road this holiday weekend. And that doesn't include people coming into the sunshine state.