There are some many things happening locally to commemorate Memorial Day. Here is our top 5 list of ways to spend the holiday, recognizing the true meaning of the day:

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Veterans Memorial Park-Rome

Start the day with at 10:15 in Rome, at Veterans Memorial Park on North James Street for its annual Memorial Day Observance.  In downtown Rome, you'll also find Fort Stanwix National Monument.  A part of the National Parks Service, Fort Stanwix played inmortant roles in the French and Indian War and American Revolution.  Rome is also the resting place of the Unknown Soilder of the American Revolution.

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Utica Parkway Monuments & Oneida Square

Take Roue 49 to Utica to particpate in one of many wreath laying ceremonies happening in Utica. They begin at 10:45 at Oneida Square at the foot of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, From there, wreath laying events move to the Parkway's the Oneida County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the POW-MIA Monument, followed by a stop at the nearby All Wars Monument, all on the Parkway. Then, to West Utica for a wreath laying at Purple Heart Memorial Park. The ceremonies conclude at main post office in Utica, the Captain George A. Wood Post Office on Pitcher Street.

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Proctor Park Picnic

Before you leave Monday morning, pack a picnic basket.  Following the ceremony at the Post Office, head to Proctor Park, lay down a blanket and enjoy a nice lunch of your choosing. The kids can play on the swings, slides, and you can catch your breath.

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Utica Memorial Day Parade

Utica's Memorial Day Parade steps off at 2:00 on Monday afternoon on Genesee Street. It will begin near South Street and continue toward the Parkway. From there, the parade turns up the Parkway towards Oneida Street.

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New Hartford Parade and Fire Department Open House

You can also attend the parade in New Hartford at 7:00 p.m. It starts at the New Hartford Shopping Center and ends at the Fire Station, where the annual Fire Department Open House will begin. The Department's Memorial Room has many new displays and photographs that will be on display to the public.

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Maybe the most important thing you can do Monday is to find a veteran, or an active duty military member and just say 'Thanks'. We enjoy the freedoms we have today because your family, your neighbors, your friends and you have put their/your life on the line to protect America and our way of life.

To all veterans: THANK YOU

Even More Memorial Day Options

  • The Whitesboro Memorial Day parade which begins at 9:00 a.m. on Main Street
  • In New York Mills, the annual parade starts at 11:00 a.m. on Main Street continuing to Veterans Park - The featured speaker there will be John Maciol at U.S. Marine

(Photo credit to the outstanding NY collection of flickr user dougtone.)