Members of the Riverhead VFW Post 2476 marching in the 2019 Memorial Day parade. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead will mark Memorial Day on Monday with a parade and solemn ceremonies at the town’s war memorials and cemeteries.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the more than 1.3 million Americans who gave their lives in military service to our country since 1775.

The holiday has its roots in Decoration Day, a day when Union Civil War veterans honored those who had died in conflict. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Riverhead’s Memorial Day parade will step off on Osborn Avenue and Pulaski Street at 9 a.m. It will proceed south on Osborn Avenue to the World War I monument on the corner of Court and West Main streets, where ceremonies will be held on the lawn.

The parade will continue east on Main Street to Roanoke Avenue, and then north on Roanoke to St. John’s Place, where it will stop for services at St. John’s Cemetery.

It will then continue north to Riverhead Cemetery on Pulaski Street, where services will be conducted at the Civil War monument.

The ceremonies downtown will conclude with services at the War Memorial on the corner of Osborn Avenue and Pulaski Street.

A ceremony at St. Isidore’s Cemetery on Horton Avenue will follow the conclusion of the downtown ceremony.

Calverton National Cemetery will host its Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, starting at 1 p.m. in the assembly area at the end of Princeton Boulevard.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.