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From military bases to armed forces monuments and attractions, the City of Jacksonville is the perfect destination for military families to visit and honor their heroes. Home to Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax), Naval Station Mayport, Kings Bay Naval Base, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Naval Aviation Depot of Jacksonville, and the Marine Corps Blount Island Command, Jacksonville takes pride in being a military town and housing over 50,000 active-duty reserve and civilian men and women and their families.
The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall, in Downtown Jacksonville, showcases the names of more than 1,500 local military personnel lost in combat. The memorial includes names from WWI all the way to the War on Terror and covers all branches of the military. Jacksonville is also home to a National Cemetery which opened in 2009. There is also a special Jacksonville Navy Memorial on Downtown’s Southbank, it depicts a young sailor looking out to sea dressed in uniform and recalls the relationship between the people of Jacksonville and the U.S. Navy.
Memorial Day Weekend also marks the unofficial kick-off to the summer season in Jax and we celebrate by hosting the nation’s largest and longest-running free jazz festival in the streets of Downtown. The Jacksonville Jazz Fest has been taking place every year since 1981. Thousands of music lovers pack our streets to experience this fun and vibrant street festival with three stages of live jazz, local food, drinks, shopping, and entertainment. The entire experience is completely free and attracts some of the best jazz bands and musicians in the nation. Don’t miss it! And while you are in town for the festival be sure to enjoy our beaches ( we have 22 miles of them ready for you to explore), our breweries (check out the Jax Ale Trail).