American commemorations of a "Memorial Day" to honor fallen soldiers have their roots in the Civil War era. Graves would be decorated with flags or flowers. I still remember my mother referring to the day as "Decoration Day", which was its common name until after WWII. The name "Memorial Day" was officially designated by Congress in 1967.

Local ceremonies to commemorate Memorial Day include:

American Legion Post 254 West Stockbridge, holding their Memorial Services on Sunday May 27th starting at 4 P.M. They will be going to the four cemeteries, as usual. Then on Monday May 28, their Memorial Day Parade will start at 10 A.M. at Baldwin Park, proceeding to Town Hall.

The Adams-Budz VFW Post 8183 in Housatonic invites local veterans and civic groups to attend and participate in Monday’s Memorial Day Parade & Ceremonies beginning in the village of Housatonic at 9 A.M., followed in the Town of Great Barrington at 11:00. Everyone is welcome to come out to honor those who gave their lives in the service of our towns, commonwealth & country.

Lee's parade begins at 10 A.M. at the north end of Main Street and continues to Fairmont Cemetery for a ceremony. U.S Army Cpl. William R. Abderhalden has been named posthumously as the Grand Marshal. VFW Post 893 so honored him as the only serviceman from Lee killed in the Korean war.

Lenox' parade starts at Noon at Church on the Hill off Main St.

A parade sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company steps off at 8 A.M. at Veterans Memorial Park on Walker St., stops for a Mass at St. Vincent dePaul Church at 8:30, then returns to the Park for a ceremony.

Stockbridge will conduct cemetery ceremonies at 11 A.M. and a riverside ceremony for those who died at sea. A parade starts at 12:15 from the Town Offices on Main St., with a program at 12:45 at Old Town Hall.