By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — Area residents will be observing Memorial Day weekend with parades, wreath-laying ceremonies at veterans' monuments and outings at parks throughout Niagara County.
The weather should pass muster for outdoor activities like backyard barbecues and family gatherings. According to the National Weather Service, today and Sunday will have highs of 60 degrees with the lows in the 40s. It will be mostly sunny for the three-day weekend, with Monday reaching a high of 69 degrees.
A glance at the Memorial Day observances around the county:
• The Niagara Falls Veterans Memorial Commission will sponsor its annual parade at 11 a.m. today starting at the Cadille American Legion Post 1664 in the City Market, Pine Avenue and 19th Street.
After the parade, ending at Robbins Drive off Pine Avenue, a special ceremony will be held at the new Veterans Memorial under construction in Hyde Park.
• Lockport: The Navy & Marine Club. 37 Park Ave., will sponsor a parade forming at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Veterans Memorial on East Avenue, across from the Eastern Niagara Hospital. Sid Parish, board chairman of the club, said members will visit 11 area cemeteries for brief ceremonies prior to the parade.
• TONAWANDAS: The United Veterans Council of the Tonawandas is sponsoring its annual event with a parade starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Broad and Main streets in the city of Tonawanda. A sunrise salute complete with a cannon firing is set for 6 a.m. Sunday at Main and Sweeney streets in North Tonawanda. In addition, an 11 a.m. ceremony is slated for the Renaissance Bridge, linking Webster Street in North Tonawanda with Main Street in Tonawanda.
• YOUNGSTOWN: One of the longest-standing traditions in Niagara County is the Memorial Day ceremony at the 1812 Cemetery in Fort Niagara State Park. The 11 a.m. event Monday is coordinated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars-Lake Ontario Post 313, Third Street.
• LEWISTON: A noon parade for Memorial Day including local veterans and civic leaders will begin at the Red Brick School, Fourth Street, and proceed along Center Street to Academy Park, where a ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial. Van rides are available for anyone unable to walk the parade route.
• WILSON: The 41st annual Wilson Historical Society Memorial Day Fair will be held from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday. The American Legion Post 836 will have a flag-raising ceremony at 10 a.m. in Greenwood Veterans Memorial Park. Assemblywoman Jane Corwin will be the speaker.
• WHEATFIELD: American Legion Post 1451 has set a ceremony for 11 a.m. Monday at a site next to the town highway garage, Ward Road. Speakers will include William L. Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, and Supervisor Robert Cliffe.
Memorial Day, a federal holiday that occurs on the final Monday in May, honors the memory of the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it was established after the Civil War to pay tribute to the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that fighting.