Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday in May.
It honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
First known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War to honor both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. It became an official federal holiday in 1971, according to a report on History.com.
The holiday was later extended to include all American soldiers. The day is not to be confused with Veterans Day in November, which recognizes the service of all U.S. military veterans.
Many places across the Lehigh Valley will be closed in observance of Memorial Day Monday. Below is the rundown:
All post offices will be closed Monday, May 31. There will be no residential or business deliveries, only delivery of Priority Mail Express. All operations will resume Tuesday, June 1, said Postal Service spokesman Desai Abdul-Razzaaq.
The New York Stock Exchange is closed Monday, May 31, and will reopen on Tuesday, June 1, said Peter Asch, corporate communications worker and archivist for the stock exchange. Nasdaq also is closed, reopening Tuesday, June 1, said spokesman Matthew Sheahan.
The majority of banks are closed, including Fulton Bank; Santander; Bank of America; Wells Fargo; and TD Bank. Online banking and ATMs will remain open through the holiday weekend, though transactions such as transfers may not show up until Tuesday, June 1.
Many gas stations and gas station convenience stores will remain open for Memorial Day.
New Jersey liquor stores are privately owned; hours vary by location.
In Pennsylvania, liquor stores that are normally open Mondays will close at 4 p.m. Monday, May 31. Store hours can be found here.
All federal and state offices are closed Monday, May 31. So are offices in Northampton County, Lehigh County, and Warren County. The cities of Easton, Bethlehem and Allentown also are closed
Many other municipal offices are closed, too, including Phillipsburg, Palmer Township, Wilson Borough and Bethlehem Township.
All New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offices are closed Monday, May 31. These include the following:
- Licensing and vehicle centers
- Regional service centers
- Road testing sites
- Inspection stations
All Pennsylvania Department of Transportation driver license and photo centers, including its full-service Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, are all closed Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31.
LANtaBus and LANtaVan will operate on a Sunday schedule all day Memorial Day.
Trans-Bridge will operate the Allentown/Clinton/New York eastbound to New York; Allentown/Clinton/New York westbound from New York; to Newark Airport eastbound; and from Newark Airport westbound routes. There will be no Doylestown/Flemington; JFK Airport; or Wall Street Service on Memorial Day. A full schedule of the routes can be found here.
Most libraries in the Lehigh Valley won’t be open for Memorial Day. Others are closed on other days throughout the holiday weekend, as well.
In New Jersey, four branches of Warren County Library system are closed from Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31 — Catherine Dickson Hofman Branch (Blairstown), Southwest Branch (Stewartsville), Headquarters Branch (Belvidere) and Northeast Branch (Independence).
The Phillipsburg Free Public Library is closed from Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31. The Hackettstown Free Public Library and WH Walters Free Public Library in Alpha are all closed.
In Pennsylvania, the Hellertown Library, the Easton Area Public Library and the Allentown Public Library are closed from Saturday, May 29, through Monday, May 31. So are the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity and the Bethlehem Area Public Library.
Mary Meuser Memorial Library in Wilson Borough is always closed Mondays.
Most chain restaurants should be open on Memorial Day, including McDonald’s and Starbucks, according to HolidayShoppingHours.com. However, some mom and pops and smaller chains could be closed or have an altered schedule. It’s best to call ahead to check the hours of operation.
The following is a list of places to mark Memorial Day in the Lehigh Valley:
Memorial Day weekend 2021 in the Lehigh Valley (5/28/21 to 5/31/21): Ceremonies and other events pay tribute with pandemic safety in mind
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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at [email protected].