STATE – Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer vacation season for many, traces its roots back to the end of the Civil War.
The holiday was first established at Decoration Day in 1868 as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Smaller local events had been held as early as 1866, the year after the war ended.
Following the first World War, the holiday expanded to include the honoring of the dead from all American wars. In 1971, Congress established the official date of Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. Previously, it had been celebrated on May 30 each year.
Many New Jersey communities will hold Memorial Day events this weekend.
Avenel VFW Memorial Post 7164 will hold a Memorial Day service on Monday at 10 a.m. in front of the post home at 60 West Park Avenue. Light refreshments will be offered following the service.
Carteret will hold a Memorial Day ceremony 8 a.m. Sunday at Waterfront Park featuring a flag raising and the casting of memorial wreaths. At noon, the Veterans Alliance ceremonies will be held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial at Carteret Park. The annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 1 p.m. at the Doc Fenick Clock Tower on the corner of Washington Avenue and Louis Street. A town barbecue at Borough Hall will follow the parade.
Cranford’s Memorial Day parade will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, with marchers assembling at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue. It will conclude at Memorial Park on Springfield Avenue. There will be a ceremony following the parade at 10 a.m.
Dunellen’s Memorial Day parade kicks off from the library parking lot at 10 a.m. Monday and finishes in Washington Memorial Park.
East Brunswick will hold Memorial Day observances on Sunday, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Veterans Monument, at Veterans Park on Civic Center Drive. For information, call 1-732-390-6797.
Edison’s Memorial Day parade is Sunday at 1 p.m., beginning at Walsh Avenue, across from Our Lady of Peace Church. The route continues onto Amboy Avenue and Brower Avenue, finishing at Herbert Hoover Middle School.
Fanwood Memorial Library, 14 Tillotson Road, will host a ceremony to honor the borough’s war dead on Monday from 9-9:30 a.m. A Memorial Day parade follows, beginning in Scotch Plains at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Park Avenue and proceeding into Fanwood south on Martine Avenue to LaGrande Avenue.
Kenilworth will remember its fallen soldiers with services at the Veterans Monument Park at 11 a.m. Monday, followed by a light lunch at the VFW, 33 South 21st Street.
Middlesex Borough will hold a Memorial Day parade on Monday at 11 a.m., beginning on Delaware Avenue and turning onto Harris Avenue, Marlborough Avenue, Wellington Street, Mountain Avenue and Legion Place. Before the parade, there will be a ceremony at Victor Crowell Park at 10:30 a.m.
New Providence’s Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Springfield Avenue and Central.
North Brunswick will hold a Memorial Day 5K run / walk on Monday along a scenic route through North Brunswick Community Park. Registration is at 7:30 a.m., with the run starting at 8:30 a.m. and the walk beginning at 8:45 a.m. The fee is $20.
Old Bridge’s Memorial Day parade starts at 9:30 a.m. on Monday at Memorial School. The route continues onto Matawan Road/Laurence Parkway, over Route 35 and down Shoreland Circle to Memorial Park. A Memorial Day service will follow.
Perth Amboy invites you to join city officials, V.F.W. Post 663 and the American Legion Post 45 for a Memorial Day parade and ceremony on Monday. The parade begins at the Train Station parking lot on Smith Street at 10 a.m. and the ceremony will take place at the Veterans’ War Memorial on Sadowski Parkway at 11 a.m.
Rahway’s Memorial Day parade begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday along Milton Avenue, Pierpont Street, Elm Avenue, Irving Street and Main Street, where it will pass a review stand at City Hall Plaza. On Monday, the city will host the 11th Annual PowerBar Mayor’s Trophy 5K Road Race, which begins at 9:45 a.m. Visit www.cityofrahway.com or call 1-732-669-3600 for more information.
Roselle will hold a Memorial Day parade along East 2nd Avenue and Chestnut Street, beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday. There will be a ceremony and program at the Roselle Free Public Library at West 4th Avenue and Chestnut Street.
Sayreville’s Memorial Day parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at Outlook Avenue and Washington Road. It concludes at Borough Hall on Main Street. For more information, call 1-732-254-9826.
South River’s Memorial Day parade begins at 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon at Main Street and Hillside Avenue, turning onto Jackson Street, Ferry Street, and Main Street before ending up at the War Memorial Building. For more information, call 1-732-257-1999.
Summit will mark Memorial Day with a parade at 10 a.m. on Monday. The parade assembly area is the Bouras Building parking lot off Beechwood Road. After the parade, there will be a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial on the Village Green.
Westfield’s Memorial Day parade begins at 9 a.m. on Monday. It moves along East Broad Street before wrapping up at Fairview Cemetery.
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