Monday is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday that honors Americans who died while in military service. This Monday also marks the third time the holiday has taken place during the coronavirus pandemic.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and marks the unofficial start of summer. Since 1970, it is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May.
The manner of observance stems from the ancient idea of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers and evolved from various local holidays, first in the South in the early 1860s, known both as Decoration Day and Memorial Day. The holiday took hold and, by 1868, memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states.
As such, it is a tradition to fly the flag of the United States at half staff from dawn until noon on the holiday.
The holiday is also immortalized in poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“Decoration Day”) and Joyce Kilmer (“Memorial Day”).
Here’s what you need to know about what’s open for business and operating in the United States – and what isn’t – on Monday.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES All Federal government offices are closed on Monday, as will be almost all city and state offices.
POST OFFICE No regular mail delivery except for Priority Mail Express, formerly known as Express Mail. Regular service resumes on Tuesday.
BANKS Financial institutions have the option to close. Almost all will.
SCHOOLS Closed Monday in almost all districts, including those conducting remote instruction amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
FINANCIAL MARKETS The nation’s stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday.
TRANSPORTATION Most local transportation systems, such as buses, subways, and commuter rail systems, will operate on Sunday or holiday schedules Monday, with normal service resuming on Tuesday. Airports and train stations are, of course, open, although some airline schedules continue to be limited due to the pandemic.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)