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Holiday Hours: Memorial Day
09:00AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
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Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army
Arlington National Cemetery is the nation's first federal military cemetery. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Memorial Day is being celebrated Monday, May 25. It is a federal holiday observing the sacrifices of the nation's servicemen and -women. It started as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, particularly in the South, and many states adopted the day as Decoration Day to commemorate all U.S. soldiers after World War I.

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress. It falls on the last Monday in May.

Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running

Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many parades and observances have been canceled or limited. If you are aware of any observances or events, let us know at

North Adams: Northern Berkshire Community Television will broadcast a Memorial Day program on Monday. Check the Facebook page for more information.  

Pittsfield: The city will join others across the state in lighting up City Hall on May 24. 

West Stockbridge: The Fire Department and Police Department will be doing a wave parade starting at 10 a.m. to remind residents to thank a veteran and remember those who died in service to their country.

Williamstown: The American Legion honor guard will be holding brief observances in each of the cemeteries.


Overview of Memorial Day virtual state events:

  • Thursday, May 21 – Chelsea Soldiers’ Home virtual observance will be streamed on the Home’s Facebook page at 5pm Thursday. The program will be available on their Facebook page on demand following the stream.
  • Friday, May 22 – Holyoke Soldiers’ Home virtual observance will be streamed on the Home’s Facebook page at 5pm Friday. The program will be available on their Facebook page on demand following the stream.
  • Sunday, May 24 – Buildings, bridges, flags and parks to be illuminated in gold to honor Gold Star Families on the evening of Sunday, May 24 in observance of Memorial Day. The Department of Veterans’ Services has partnered with MassDOT, building managers and Veteran Service Organizations across the state to invite communities to light up prominent structures on the eve of Memorial Day. Locations listed below.
  • Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day Ceremony, with speakers and musical performers from across the Commonwealth, remarks by Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, Legislative leaders, and a special “Tribute to the Fallen” by the Massachusetts National Guard. This program will stream on and on participating TV stations and digital channels on Monday, May 25.

MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between 1 and 7 on those days.

Free coffee will be served at 18 MassDOT service plazas beginning at 10 p.m., Monday, May 27, and continuing through 5 a.m., Tuesday, May 28.

Traffic is especially heavy at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and at Exit 11A, I-495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine. In 2012, the Friday before Memorial Day was the 13th busiest day on the Turnpike in terms of toll transactions with approximately 350,000 logged between I-95 and the New York Border.

MassDOT will suspend all construction work on major arterial roadways from noon on Friday, May 24, through the start of normal business on Tuesday, May 28.

Sign up at the
511 Traveler Information Service to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. MassDOT as always reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving. Call into the 511 service before departing. Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.

CapeFLYER weekend rail service to Cape Cod and the Islands resumes Friday, May 24, through Labor Day. Visit  for complete schedules and ticket information.

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