Memorial Day is many things to many people. To some, it may represent the “official” start of summer, with backyard barbeques, Americana-themed picnics and beach trips to commemorate the long weekend. To others, it is a day to honor the men and women who risked their lives and died while defending the United States. Their immense sacrifices should never be forgotten.
What we currently know as Memorial Day was originally conceived of as a holiday to honor casualties from the Civil War and went under a different moniker: Decoration Day. First observed on May 30, 1868, people paid their tribute to fallen soldiers by leaving flowers on their graves, a ritual that still takes place for individuals who have lost friends or family members in combat. This celebration was followed by a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, with over 5,000 people in attendance.
In 1971—more than a century after Decoration Day was first celebrated—Memorial Day got a new name and new designation: a national holiday to honor American soldier fatalities from all wars, on the last Monday in May.
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While the official Memorial Day ceremony still takes place in Arlington Cemetery, locally, main streets and avenues will be closed off for parades, grills will sizzle and pop with hamburgers and hot dogs and flags will be hung proudly from people’s front stoops and porches.
Here are the events scheduled for Larchmont and Mamaroneck this weekend:
Thursday, May 26
- The Village of Larchmont Memorial Parade will start sharp at 7 p.m. at the Elevated Parking Plaza, Lot #3, at Larchmont Train Station. The parade will proceed down Chatsworth, Palmer and Larchmont Avenues and end at , 120 Larchmont Ave.
Sunday, May 29
- The will hold a Memorial Ceremony at the War Memorial at Myrtle Boulevard and Murray Avenue in Larchmont at 11 a.m. Following the services, head over to the American Legion in for food and refreshments. The Ceremony will be moved to American Legion headquarters in the event of rain. Call (914) 834-9746 with any questions.
Monday, May 30
- The VFW, Post 1156 will hold a Memorial Ceremony in Tompkins Park on East Boston Road and Tompkins Avenue, across from Chocolations, in Mamaroneck at 9 a.m. Breakfast at the on 205 Weaver St. in the Town of Mamaroneck at 9:30 a.m. will follow the Ceremony.
- Another Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at , in front of Mamaroneck High School, on 1000 Boston Post Rd., at 11 a.m.
- The Village of Mamaroneck’s Memorial Day Parade will start at 4:30 p.m. with a short assembly at on 850 Mamaroneck Ave. The parade will start at 5 p.m. and will wind down Mamaroneck Avenue, through the village, and conclude at Honor Roll on Prospect Avenue, across from the . There will be 40 Service Personnel from Fleet Week, a 36 person Navy band and the 101st Emergency Signal Battalion. Music will be provided by W. Dickerson Drum and Bugle Corps, Dixie Dandies, Sam Dow American Legion Post 1017, Fife and Drum Corps, various Scouting units, youth sport teams from Village and Town of Mamaroneck, the Elks, DARE groups and other veteran groups. The parade will be dedicated to those who have given the supreme sacrifice thru all conflicts, especially to those from Iraq and Afghanistan. A short memorial service will be held immediately following the parade at the Veteran’s Memorial on Prospect Avenue. Refreshments will be served upon completion of the program. If anyone would like to participate send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 914-835-2916.
Editor's Note: Further details were added to the description of the Village of Mamaroneck Memorial Day Parade.