Outside barbeques, family gatherings, road trips, and military ceremonies – these are just a few of the ways that Americans celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is not only a national holiday, but a day of historical significance. It was established after the Civil War to honor the 620,000 soldiers who died during the war, and the holiday continues to mark a day of remembrance for those who have and are currently serving in the country’s armed forces.
Many ceremonies take place during this day with flowers, pictures, and flags to honor deceased soldiers. The flag of the United States is raised to the stop and then lowered to half staff until noon. The half-mast remembers the over one million men and women who have given their lives in service of their country. Chicago honored the nation’s military heroes with one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the city, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. There was also another big parade across the George Washington Bridge in New York City, where people lined up along the parade route at Bay Ridge before a 21-gun salute and ceremony in John Paul Jones Park. The Memorial Parade in NYC is one of the oldest in the country and featured both veterans and active duty military personnel.
This year, Memorial Day was celebrated in Ridgewood with the annual Memorial Day Remembrance Service at Veterans Memorial Park. The American Legion Post 53 conducted the ceremony at Van Neste Square, which is known to honor local veterans and promote patriotism in the area. The 40th Annual Fred d’Ella Ridgewood Memorial Day Run also took place on the same day.