With the novel coronavirus keeping people from congregating in large groups, Massachusetts has planned virtual Memorial Day celebrations this year to honor members of the military who have sacrificed for their country.
“Memorial Day is sacred for our fellow service members, veterans and families -- in particular, Gold Star Families -- as we collectively remember those we’ve lost," Veterans' Services Secretary Francisco Ureña said.
"Freedom is not free, and the eternal valor of our fallen brothers and sisters allows us to live in peace."
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
A series of livestreamed virtual events will be held at the Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke. The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home will livestream and post their celebration on their Facebook page at 5 p.m. on Thursday; the Holyoke Soldiers' Home will do the same on their Facebook page at 5 p.m. Friday.
In addition, buildings, bridges, flags and parks will be illuminated in gold throughout the state on Sunday as a special tribute to Gold Star Families.
On Memorial Day, musicians from across the state will perform during a livestreamed event, which will also include speeches from Gov. Charlie Baker and other special guests, as well as a special “Tribute to the Fallen” by the Massachusetts National Guard. The event will be livestreamed.
“As we mark Memorial Day, we pay special tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to protect us and ensure our freedom,” Baker said. “During this difficult time, it is important that we honor and remember them, and share our gratitude and deep respect for their courage.”
“This year we will honor the lives of the brave men and women who died while serving the country in a different, but equally special way," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said.
The Department of Veterans’ Services has partnered with MassDOT, building managers and Veteran Service Organizations across the state to invite communities to light up prominent structures on the eve of Memorial Day. Locations listed below.
These buildings, bridges, flags and parks will be lit in gold Sunday night:
- Agawam - Military Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam
- Arlington Town Hall
- Beverly Department of Public Works Building
- Boston City Hall
- Government Center, Boston
- Prudential Tower, Boston
- Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, Boston
- Cambridge City Hall
- Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea
- Locations throughout the community
- Dracut Revolutionary Monument
- Easton Veterans Memorial Park
- Essex Town Hall
- Fall River Government Center Building
- Georgetown Town Hall
- Holyoke - Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke
- Ipswich Town Hall
- Kingston Town Hall
- Lawrence Canal Street Bridge
- Leominster Veterans Memorial Center
- Ludlow Town Hall
- Marshfield Veterans Memorial Park
- Medford City Hall
- Melrose Memorial Hall
- New Bedford:
- New Bedford City Hall
- Elm Street Garage
- Newbury Town Hall
- Norton Town Hall
- Palmer Town Hall
- Pittsfield City Hall
- Rowley Town Hall
- Saugus Town Hall
- Scituate Town Common
- Sharon Fire Department
- Stoneham Town Common
- Swansea Town Hall
- Watertown Flag Pole
- Wenham Town Hall
- West Newbury Town Hall
- Westfield Town Green
- Westford Town Hall
- Winchendon - Military Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon
- Woburn City Hall
- Worcester - Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge
This list will be updated here.
Visit the state's website and follow #MemorialDayMA on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information on this year’s virtual programs.