New Yorkers celebrate Memorial Day marking start of summer

New York, May 31 (IANS) New Yorkers celebrated Memorial Day with parades and other activities, which resembled the celebrations in the time before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In New York City alone, around 10 parades and public education programmes were held on Monday, according to the city’s website.

Hundreds of soldiers, veterans, elected officials, military leaders as well as the public attended a traditional commemoration event on Monday at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan, after an interruption of two years amid the pandemic.

The ceremony included speeches, laying of wreaths, unfurling of a big-size American flag, and a flyover by US Navy fighters, Xinhua news agency reported.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul vowed her support to veterans on education, job, housing and healing from wars.

The landmarks across the state would be lit red, white and blue in recognition of Memorial Day on Monday evening, according to Hochul.

“This is our first year here together. I wanted to share the tradition,” said Cheyenne, a New Yorker from Queens, who brought her four-month-old son and other family members to the ceremony.

Monday also marked the last day of Fleet Week New York, a week-long annual event featuring the visits of multiple US Navy ships, military demonstrations, cultural performances and ship tours open to the public.

Fleet Week New York was held virtually in the last two years due to the pandemic, and the Navy ships are expected to receive the tours of tens of thousands of people this year.

The holiday also marks the beginning of summer, with public beaches open to the public and more motorists on the road.

However, celebrations in New York City and across the country are overshadowed by the surge of gasoline prices and gun violence.

More than 10 people were shot or stabbed in New York City over the weekend before Memorial Day, with three of them dead, and a false report of active shooting at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn early Sunday led to public panic, stampede and the hospitalisation of nearly 10 people.