2020 Memorial Day Watchfire At New York Fairgrounds Canceled
The 2020 watchfire that was scheduled Memorial Day weekend at the New York State Fairgrounds has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Watchfire ceremony and lighting has been a Central New York tradition for many years. The VVA 103 reports that the Watchfire history stems from a military tradition that followed a battle or long march:
A large fire would be started so those missing or lost could locate and rejoin their comrades. VVA Chapter 103 uses the Watchfire and accompanying ceremony to make Memorial Day more meaningful for everyone in the community.
Here in Central New York, the fires each had different significance for that year:
- 1995 Watchfire honored the American Veterans of World Wars I, II and Korea.
- 1996 we dedicated the event to the Gold Star Mothers.
- 1997 event was dedicated to honor Women in Service.
The years following 1997 have been dedicated to all United States of America Veterans.