Monday Is Memorial Day: Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed

A child at the base of the Washington Monument.

By Paul Riegler on 22 May 2020
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You might not quite realize it, but this Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. The holiday that honors Americans who died while in military service.

Originally known as Decoration Day, the holiday marks the unofficial start of summer. Since 1970, it is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May.  As such, the observance this year on May 25 is the earliest the holiday can occur.

The manner of observance stems from the ancient idea of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers and evolved from various local holidays, first in the South in the early 1860s, known both as Decoration Day and Memorial Day. The holiday took hold and, by 1868, memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states.

The holiday is also immortalized in poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“Decoration Day”) and Joyce Kilmer (“Memorial Day”).

Here’s what you need to know about what’s open for business and operating in the United States – and what isn’t – on Monday.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES All Federal government offices are closed on Monday, as will be almost all city and state offices.

POST OFFICE No regular mail delivery except for Priority Mail Express, formerly known as Express Mail. Regular service resumes on Tuesday.

BANKS Financial institutions have the option to close. Almost all will.

SCHOOLS Closed Monday in almost all districts, including those conducting remote instruction amidst the coronavirus.

FINANCIAL MARKETS The nation’s stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday.

TRANSPORTATION Most local transportation systems, such as buses, subways, and commuter rail systems, will operate on Sunday or holiday schedules Monday with normal service on resuming Tuesday. Airports and train stations are, of course, open, although flights continue to be limited due to the pandemic.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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