Memorial Day Parades
May 30 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, which was a day to remember those killed in war by placing flags and flowers on their grades. In 1971 it became an official federal holiday.
Communities have scheduled a variety of events to remember those killed in war and honor veterans throughout the week but most parades are held on Monday.
- Agawam: 10:00 (Main Street, Town Hall to Veteran Greens Memorial Park)
- Amherst: 9:30 (Amherst Town Common to War Memorial Pool)
- Belchertown: 10:00 (Town Hall to Town Common)
- Chicopee: Sunday, 9:00 (Exchange Street to Front Street)
- Easthampton: 10:30
- East Longmeadow: 10:50
- Greenfield: 10:00
- Hampden: 10:00
- Holyoke: 9:30 (Appleton, High, Lyman and Maple Streets ending in Veterans Park)
- Ludlow: 9:00 (Corner of Winsor Street and Worcester Street)
- Monson: 10:00
- Montague: 10:00
- Northampton/Florence: 9:30 (Locust Street to Spring Street)
- Orange: 11:00
- Palmer: 10:45 a.m (Lawrence Street, end on Converse Street)
- South Hadley: 11:00 (South Hadley High School)
- Southhampton: 9:00 (Norris School, and continue down College Highway to East Street)
- Southwick: 10:00 (College Highway)
- Ware: 1:00 (Maple Street to Veteran’s Park on Main Street
- Westfield: 9:00 (Great River Bridge and down to E. Broad Street)
- West Springfield: 9:00 (Pine Street to Town Common)
- Wilbraham: 10:30
Memorial Day: This federal holiday is celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.
Veterans Day: This federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.
Nov. 11 recognizes the month, day and time the guns fell silent on the Western Front during World War I. The carnage left millions dead, destroyed cities, scorched countrysides and caused deep-seated resentments that led to World War II.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.