Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This year Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 31. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Did you know? Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day Traditions: Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because Memorial Day weekend unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
Traveling tips! The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts more than 37 million people will travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend. With this in mind, the Louisiana State Police would like to offer these travel tips:
· Inspect your vehicle and ensure tire air pressure and fluids are at the proper level
· Avoid distractions behind the wheel and pay attention to traffic around you
· Watch for motorcycles as many riders will venture out this weekend
· With more traffic than normal, allow extra time to get to your destination
· Speeding increases the likelihood of a crash as well as the severity of a crash
· Designate a sober driver before going anywhere alcohol will be consumed
· Never drive impaired or get in a vehicle with an impaired driver
· Ensure all vehicle occupants are properly restrained
Click it or ticket! Law enforcement agencies throughout our state are participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign through June 6th and will be ticketing vehicle occupants who choose not to wear a seat belt. Vehicle occupants are encouraged to take a moment to buckle up. It could mean the difference between life or death in the event of a crash.
Motorists who observe impaired or reckless drivers are encouraged to dial *LSP (*577) or to dial 911.
Traffic information is available online at 511la.org, by using the 511la app, or by dialing 511 anywhere in Louisiana.