Today is Memorial Day.  It's a federal holiday and banks are closed, there is no mail delivery and the stock market and bond markets are closed.  Many restrictions continue in both New York and Pa.  limiting parades and large gatherings at or near cemeteries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memorial Day is dedicated in honor of those who died while serving in the military and giving their lives to our nation.  Originally called Decoration Day there are several beliefs on the specific origin of this day.  It came about after the Civil War to honor those who died in battle in that war.  The first accounts appear to be in Waterloo, NY in May of 1866.  In 1966 Waterloo was designated as the official birthplace of what has become known as Memorial Day.

In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which established Memorial Day on the last Monday of May.  The law went into effect in 1971 and became a federal holiday.

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Many restrictions remain in both New York and Pa.  With temperatures expected to reach near 80 around the Southern Tier plenty of people will be outdoors.  However, limitations will cut out large crowd gatherings.  Broome County Parks are open but swimming areas are not.  Social distancing still is required and the wearing of masks is required as well.

Chenango Valley State Park has open beaches for this holiday weekend.  Swimming is permitted there today but visitors are required to wear a mask when not swimming.  Any contact sports are not allowed and visitors are required to keep a ten-foot separation when out of the water.

The usual parades and large gatherings honoring veterans at area cemeteries are not able to be held due to the social districting restrictions. Many families and veteran's groups  are holding remembrance and private prayer services today.



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