Memorial Day: Local events slated to honor soldiers

The Capital Region will host a series of parades, ceremonies and remembrances for soliders killed in

The Capital Region will host a series of parades, ceremonies and remembrances for soliders killed in active miliary service beginning today and continuing through Monday, Memorial Day.

The modern Memorial Day, a national holiday since 1971, remembers those who were killed in active service with long parades and ceremonies, a slightly different tradition from the Civil War Decoration Day at its origins.

Prior the creation of Memorial Day after World War I, citizens would bring wagons of flowers through cemeteries to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers on Decoration Day, which was on May 30.

The Old Stone Fort in Schoharie still honors Decoration Day, and it will fall this year on Memorial Day, fitting because it is the 150th annivseary of the start of the Civil War, said Carle Kopecky, the director of the Old Stone Fort. Decoration Day was first observed in New York in 1868, but it was not celebrated in Cobleskill until 1877.

In honor of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, the Old Stone Fort is erecting a Civil War monument, the first one in Schoharie County. The Old Stone Fort already has monuments for other major wars, such as the Revolutionary War, both world wars and Vietnam, and thought it would be appropriate to have a memorial for the approximately 288 Schoharie County soldiers who died as a result of the Civil War.

“I think it’s important for ourselves to remember the cost of war,” Kopecky said. “The monument will have names, but what’s also important is to remember war as a last way to solve a political problem. When you see a monument with names, you think about the people and their families and maybe then there will be change.”

The Old Stone Fort will be hosting two events on May 30, a Civil War Decoration Day event and the dedication of the Civil War monument. Here is a list of other Memorial Day events around the Capital Region:


6 p.m. — The Saratoga Springs Memorial Day Parade begins on North Broadway and goes to the intersection of Route 50 and Broadway.

6 p.m. — The Colonie Veterans Memorial Committee will be holding its Memorial Day ceremony at the Colonie Veterans Memorial at The Crossings.

6:15 p.m. — The annual Scotia-Glenville Memorial Day Parade starts at Holmes Street, follows Mohawk Avenue and ends at the Western Gateway Bridge in Scotia.

7 p.m. — The Waterford Memorial Day Parade begins on Grace Street and ends at Soliders and Sailors Park on Broad Street. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial after the parade.


6:30 p.m. — The 51st annual Rotterdam Memorial Parade will begin at Mohonessan High School and continue to Sunrise Boulevard.


4:30 p.m. — A memorial service at the American Legion post in Stillwater will precede the Memorial Day parade. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. and follow Hudson Avenue.

6 p.m. — The South Glens Falls Memorial Day Parade will start on the corner of William Street and Main Street and end on Spring Street. There will be a ceremony held after at the Veterans Park on Spring Street.


9 a.m. — Ballston Spa’s Memorial Day Parade, coordinated by the American Legion post, will begin on South Street and proceed down Milton Avenue.

12 p.m. — The opening ceremony at the Blockhouse museum and visitor center in Stillwater will be followed by a Memorial Day rememberance with the 13th Regiment of the Albany County Militia, a three-pronged service with a blessing of the flags, a rememberance service and a Blue Star service. Stillwater Boy Scout Troop 35 will be the official color guard. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and their American flags.


1 p.m. — The Rensselaer Memorial Day parade opening ceremonies will be held across from the Beverwyck Cemetery at 1 p.m. The parade starts at 2 p.m. on the corner of Forbes Avenue and Washington Avenue and will go down Third Street, ending on the corner of Washingston Street and Third Avenue.


9:30 a.m. — Albany’s Memorial Day Parade starts on Central Avenue at Quail Street and will end at City Hall. After the parade, a Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Academy Park, weather permitting; the alternative location is City Hall.

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. — The Old Stone Fort in Schoharie will host its annual Civil War Decoration Day event. At 5 p.m., there will be a Civil War monument dedication.

10 a.m. — The Glens Falls Memorial Day Parade will go from Maple Street to the monument at Grandall Park. The grand marshals will be World War II veterans Floyd Pickett and George Ferguson. There will be a Remembarance Ceremony starting at approximately 11:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. — Vale Cemetery in Schenectady will host its 143rd annual Memorial Day Ceremony. There will be music, a speech by Bruce Pentland, the New York State counselor of veterans affairs, and the placement of commemorative wreaths on veterans’ graves. A rifle salute and taps will conclude the program.

11 a.m. — The 15th annual Veterans of Lansingburgh Memorial Day Parade will begin at the intersection of 125th Street and Fifth Avenue and end at the corner of 122nd Street and Second Avenue.

11 a.m. — The Bethlehem Memorial Day Parade will start at Town Hall and finish at the Elsemere Fire Department and American Legion post. It will be hosted by American Legion Post 1040.

11 a.m. — The Glenville Rotary Club will host its Memorial Day observance at the Schenectady County Veterans Memorial Park at the intersection of Route 50 and Freemans Bridge Road in Glenville. There will be speakers, a flyover and a color guard.

11 a.m. — Hagaman’s parade will starts at St. Stephen’s Church and end on Main Street. A ceremony will follow the parade at the Hagaman War Memorial at approximately 11:50 a.m. The guest speaker at the ceremony will be Amsterdam High School Marine Corps JROTC instructor Sgt. Major Rod Wilday.

1:30 p.m. — The North Greenbush Memorial Day Parade will begin on Streamview Lane and end at the North Greenbush town offices, where a Memorial Day ceremony will take place. After the ceremony, there will be parties at the American Legion and Wynantskill Fire Department, and all are invited to attend.

2 p.m. — Rotterdam’s Memorial Day service will be held at Rotterdam Town Hall.

2:30 p.m. — Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in the town of Saratoga will be hosting its annual Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery on Duell Road. Music will be played by members of the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church, and essays will be read by students of the Brown School in Schenectady.

Categories: Schenectady County

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