The holiday that we know as Memorial Day, dates back to the time shortly after the Civil War. General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed the first major Memorial Day on May 30, 1868 to honor those who died “in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” Known to some as “Decoration Day,” mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers.
On that first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried in the cemetery.
The 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances that had taken place in various locations in the three years since the end of the Civil War. It is now believed that Waterloo, NY was the first community to observe Memorial Day in 1866, when businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
By the late 19th century, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day, and after World War I, observers began to honor the dead of all of America’s wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
The following Memorial Day observances are planned.
Town of Lloyd
American Legion Post 193 will host the annual Town of Lloyd Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 30, beginning with a 9 a.m. step off.
The Parade route will take marchers from Phillips Avenue to New Paltz Road to Main Street. From there, the march will proceed right onto Vineyard Ave., left onto Milton Ave, right onto Van Wagner Road, down Vineyard Avenue to the village square.
Ceremony and memorials will take place at the flagpole in the hamlet in front of the Methodist Church.
Hot dogs and refreshments will be available at the American Legion Post following the ceremony.
This year’s Town of Marlborough Parade will take place on Sunday, May 29 in the hamlet of Milton.
Parade assembly will be at SonoTek (Milton Industrial Park) at noon, step off is at 1 p.m..
The parade route will be through the Hamlet of Milton, across Route 9W, and end at Cluett Schantz Memorial Park.
Village of Maybrook
The annual parade will step off at 9 a.m. from Frederick Myers Veterans Memorial Park. Marchers will proceed down Tower Avenue to Main Street, then to Homestead Avenue back to the park. A short service will follow in the park.
Town of Montgomery
On Sunday, May 30 at 1 p.m., a Memorial Day Ceremony will take place at Montgomery Town Hall on Bracken Road. There will be a short parade and presentation. Refreshments will follow.
Village of Montgomery
The Village of Montgomery Memorial Day Parade will begin Monday at 11 a.m. (Line-up on Wallkill Ave. at 10:30 a.m.) All Veterans are welcome and encouraged to join the parade. A ceremony will follow at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
City of Newburgh
The city’s observances will begin on Saturday, when members of the Parade Committee will be distributing staff flags in front of the Newburgh Activity Center, 401 Washington Street from 10 a.m. -12 noon for decorating the graves of deceased veterans.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site will present, “From Badge of Military Merit to Purple Heart,” in honor of those who are serving or have served our country. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, at 2 p.m. at the site’s Museum.
The Badge of Military Merit, created by General Washington at Headquarters Newburgh, was the first award of its kind to be created in honor of enlisted personnel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Hear the story behind the creation of that award and listen to the stories about the three original recipients. Further, find out how it evolved into the medal we know today as the Purple Heart.
This special presentation is free with admission, which includes a guided tour of the historic Headquarters and the freedom to explore the Museum, which houses such exhibits as Unpacked & Rediscovered: Selections from Washington’s Headquarters’ Collection, George Washington: Perspectives on His Life and Legacy, The Preservation of Washington’s Headquarters, and the Junior Curator Project 2020.
Many people view the capturing of Yorktown by the Continental Army as the end of the Revolutionary War. Come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Saturday, June 18 for AFTER YORKTOWN: PATH TO NEWBURGH and learn about the events that occurred AFTER Yorktown. Hear how those events paved the way for General Washington’s longest stay at any of his headquarters, that of the Hasbrouck farmhouse in Newburgh, 1782-1783.
This event will be presented at 2 p.m. and is free with Museum admission. Admission to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors/students and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Reservations are requested.
Explore the Museum and exhibits including New George Washington: Perspectives On His Life and Legacy; New The Preservation of Washington’s Headquarters; New Junior Curator Project 2020, and Unpacked & Rediscovered: Selections from Washington’s Headquarters’ Collection. For further information, directions, or to reserve a tour, call (845) 562-1195.
On Sunday, Newburgh VFW members and friends will drive to local cemeteries and monuments for services with a color guard on Sunday morning. The motorcade will depart from the monument in front of the former American Legion Hall, 62 Grand Street at 8:30 a.m. for a circuit that takes about two hours.
Special Events Coordinator, Regina Angelo and the Newburgh Memorial Day Parade Committee have announced that the City of Newburgh Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 30.
The City of Newburgh Memorial Day Parade Committee will also be honoring three Veterans who served their country, their community and the Memorial Day Parade for many, many years.
“They tackled any jobs they were asked to do for the Memorial Day Parade and other occasions. They were always by my side to help,” said Angelo, Special Events Coordinator and former City of Newburgh Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor. “Although they are deceased, we will never forget them and want to give them accolades and deep appreciation.”
Eugene Lorenzo Siles Watkins deceased Nov 5, 2021
Charles Arthur Leo, deceased March 25, 2021
Richard W. Drago, deceased August 21, 2021
Line-up for the parade will be at 9:15 a.m. on Third Street, Richman Avenue and Valley Avenue facing West Street. Step-off will be at 10: a.m. sharp.from West Street. Marchers will proceed down Broadway to Liberty Street and, from there, to Washington’s Headquarters, where a short ceremony will follow. This year’s Grand Marshal is Robert Lare. Parade Marshal and Committer Chairperson is Bruce Lubkeman.
For more information on the parade, call Mary Keller at 845-565-2138, Ann Kuzmik at 845-837-9815, or Brian Denniston at 845-561-1131.
Memorial Day services will conclude at the Orange County Veterans Memorial at the intersection of Liberty Street and LeRoy Place at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 30, 2022. There, the names of all 820 Orange County men and women who died in service during the wars of the 20th century will be read aloud along with the names of those Orange County residents who died in service since 9/11/2001. The public is welcome and invited to participate by reading a page of names, perhaps including a family member. For more information, please contact David McTamaney at 845-562-8419.
Town of Newburgh
Grand Marshal Hal Tragis invites all to attend the Town of Newburgh Memorial Service at Town Hall, on Sunday, May 29 at 11 a.m.
The 2022 Town of Newburgh Memorial Day Parade will be held on Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m.
The parade route is the same as prior years: beginning at the American Legion Hall on Union Avenue, right onto Route 300, left onto Route 52 and left on t Powder Mill Road, ending at Cronomer and Algonquin Park.
Town of New Windsor
The town held its parade this past weekend, but there will be a special program on Saturday at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, 374 Temple Hill Road, New Windsor.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Temple Hill Day Program which took place May 28, 1932 on the same grounds. At that ceremony, 136 local veterans of World War I were awarded their Purple Heart medals.
The program will include a presentation on the original Temple Hill Day program, the formal opening of a new rotating exhibit about the Temple Hill Day Program, and the formal awarding of the Purple Heart Medal to a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
There will also be a walking tour of Temple Hill, discussing the role it played during the American Revolution and its connection to why it was selected as a site for the Washington Bicentennial celebration.
Admission is free, but advanced reservations are required for the program which will take place in the presentation room at the Hall of Honor as seating is limited. Please call 845-561-1765 to make a reservation.
Hamlet of Pine Bush
The 75th Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 30, with marchers stepping off at 9 a.m. from the Crispell Middle School. The parade is sponsored by Pine Bush American Legion Post 1308, the Catholic War Veterans Post 1937, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5492.
Town of Plattekill
The Town of Plattekill will host its annual Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, May 28, rain or shine.
Line up at town hall, Route 44-55, Modena, will take place at noon. The parade will step off at 1 p.m. and head south along Route 32, ending at the Town of Plattekill Veteran’s Park.
A short memorial service will follow at the park to pay tribute to those who have served in the armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice. Refreshments will be served after the memorial at the pavilion.
Village of Walden
The Walden American Legion Post 158 in conjunction with the Walden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2946 look forward to co-sponsoring the annual Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 30. The parade will form at the west end of Veteran’s Memorial Bridge at 9:30 a.m. with step off tentatively at 10 a.m..
The parade will proceed across the bridge up West Main Street to Walnut Street turn right onto Walnut Street and proceed to the platform in Municipal Square where a formal program will take place. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the 3rd floor Bradley Assembly Room of the Walden Municipal Building.
Hamlet of Wallkill
A Memorial Day service will take place on Monday, May 30 at 12 noon on the lawn in front of the Wallkill Library. The high school band will perform, followed by wreath-laying ceremony and speakers.