Memorial Day Weekend 2024: Events Scheduled In Hoboken Area

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HOBOKEN, NJ — Memorial Day parades and services are part of a nearly 160-year tradition that pays tribute to military personnel who lost their lives in service to their country.

Hoboken already had its Memorial Day Parade, and Jersey City has held its flag-raising — but there are still plenty of events going on in Hudson County and North Jersey — including at Liberty Science Center and at two nearby parks.

Here are a few things happening nearby this weekend and in North Jersey:

  • At Liberty State Park in Jersey City, members of the military will observe Fleet Week with demos, the Navy band, children’s activities, and more. The event runs 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. Get details here.
  • Liberty Science Center will be open, with its Barbie Experience exhibit kicking off this Saturday. Find out more here.
  • LEAD Carnival: Law Enforcement Against Drugs is holding a three-day carnival at Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus this weekend and on subsequent weekends. Find out more here.
  • American Dream and the local malls are holding some sales. Find out more here.
  • Palisades Interstate Park has a number of historic activities planned. They’ve also released their weekend hours. The picnic area will fill up quickly, they noted. Find out more here.
  • Check The Pools. For those who are members, the Weehawken pool opens this weekend. Note that membership is open to anyone in New Jersey, for a fee. Read more here.

You can check the Military Times and with local veterans’ groups for bigger events by state.

As the observance has changed over the years, many families also use Memorial Day as an occasion to visit North Jersey cemeteries and leave flowers at the graves of family members, regardless of whether they served in the military.

History

The history of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, dates back to 1868, when Gen. John A. Logan called for a day of remembrance to honor the Northern lives lost amid battle during the Civil War that had ended just a few years earlier, according to History.com. As time passed, more and more people called it Memorial Day, and it became a federal holiday in 1971.

Waterloo, New York, is considered the birthplace of Memorial Day. The town’s observance on May 5, 1866, predated Logan’s call for a day of remembrance. Local businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags.

Until World War I, the holiday honored only those soldiers who died while fighting for the Union in the War, as Southern states honored their war dead on a separate day. After the 116,000-plus American deaths in World War I, the tradition changed to remember all who have died while serving in the military.

Every year, a national moment of remembrance is held at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. No matter where they are or what they’re doing, Americans are asked to pause for one minute in silence to remember military personnel who have given their lives in service to their country.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the midday time was chosen because it’s a time when many Americans will be enjoying their freedoms on a national holiday.

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