Memorial Day Ceremonies Being Held Across The Berkshires
Memorial Day is more than just a day off from work or school, an excellent occasion for a backyard barbeque or a chance to travel (assuming you’re fully vaccinated). Those things do speak to the holiday’s true spirit. But above all else, Memorial Day honors Americans who have died in service to their country. This holiday is not one for somber reflection, however.
We instead choose to celebrate Memorial Day by enjoying the many freedoms that American servicemen and women have perished protecting. They include fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, trial by jury, and protection against cruel and unusual punishment. But the list also covers relative trivialities such as the ability to save up to 80% with Memorial Day weekend sales or to ride roaring Harleys through the nation’s capital. And yes, 56% of us do indeed barbeque each Memorial Day weekend, while 15% take a trip. Memorial Day’s place on the calendar has made it the unofficial start of summer for many. In our country's history, 46 million veterans have served during wartime.
The City of Pittsfield’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31, at Pittsfield Cemetery on Wahconah Street, rain or shine. Please note that a parade will not be held this year.
The event lineup includes Mayor Linda Tyer and guest speaker Staff Sergeant P.J. Hunt with the Army National Guard. The Master of Ceremonies will be Fran Tremblay, former Marine, Commander of Vietnam Veterans Association, Chapter 65. Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV) will televise the ceremony on CityLink 1303 and PCTV Select available at PCTV.org. The ceremony will also be available on Roku and Apple
devices, and the PCTV Facebook page.
In Adams Memorial Day will be observed with a ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 31, in the Maple Street Cemetery.
The memorial address will be delivered by Lt. Col. Francis Bourdon. who served 35 years in the Massachusetts National Guard and retired as intel and security chief for the Commonwealth. The American Legion Post 160 firing squad will render a rifle volley. The parade will not be held this year.
The Cheshire Memorial Day parade returns Monday, just days after the state lifts the mask-wearing and social distancing mandates to combat COVID-19. The procession steps off at 1 p.m. from the Cheshire Community/Senior Center on School Street. This year's march through the center of the community ends at the Veterans War Memorial at Town Hall, for a service of remembrance. One of the parade traditions is back as children ride along the parade route on their bicycles decked out in red, white, and blue decorations and miniature American flags.
Traditionally, the parade proceeds up a steep hill to the cemetery on West Mountain Road for the ceremony to honor those who have died defending America. But, after the 2019 parade, the town decided to shift the finish line to the monument for the commemorative gathering.
The town of Dalton will observe Memorial Day with a reading of the names of the war dead at 10 am Monday at the Mound of the Unknown Dead in the Main Street Cemetery. The reading will be followed by a rifle volley by the American Legion, concluding with taps. This year’s parade has been canceled.
In West Stockbridge, The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at South Street and continue on through Main Street to end at Town Hall, where there will be a short ceremony at in front of the War Memorial at 10:30 a.m.
Williamstown will have The American Legion honor guard hold brief observances in each of the cemeteries and Field Park and will finish by calling the honor roll at Eastlawn Cemetery.
Memorial Day is being celebrated Monday, May 31. It is a federal holiday observing the sacrifices of the nation's servicemen and -women. It started as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, particularly in the South, and many states adopted the day as Decoration Day to commemorate all U.S. soldiers after World War I.
Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress. It falls on the last Monday in May.
95% of businesses will be closed on Memorial Day this year.
Federal, state, and local offices; no mail delivery.
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Most offices and businesses
BRTA will not be running, will resume its regular schedule on June 1st.
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