Captiol News from The Assembly Minority Conference
The Assembly Minority Conference

Memorial Day Is A Day Of Reflection, Remembrance

Legislative Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay

Memorial Day is one of our nation’s most cherished holidays. It is a time to remember the countless brave men and women who have sacrificed everything so we can remain prosperous, safe and free. This weekend, we honor those sacrifices and reflect on our deep gratitude for those who were lost. 

Originally labeled “Decoration Day,” the holiday’s origins date back to the years following the Civil War. Memorial Day was first established in the upstate community of Waterloo in 1866 to commemorate the lives lost during the Civil War. Over the years it has become one of America’s most cherished traditions, recognizing the bravery of U.S. military who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Towns would host events in remembrance of the soldiers who died during the battles, and those events would often include parades and memorials. Now, Memorial Day, generally considered the official beginning of summer, is often spent visiting local parks, enjoying New York’s many exceptional waterways or spending the day grilling with family and friends. But, let us not forget the true meaning of the day and work to incorporate that sentiment into our activities.

This year’s events will be extra special as we can once again enjoy each other’s company in person, unlike last year’s COVID-inhibited Memorial Day weekend. The best way for us to remember our brave fallen is to do so together.

Locally, there are many great celebrations in store for residents of Oswego, Onondaga and Jefferson counties. Tonight, the city of Fulton is partnering with Thank a Service Member, Inc. at Lake Neatahwanta to host a Watchfire from 7-10 p.m. There, unserviceable American flags will be sent off in honor of those who died serving our nation.

  • Further, Oswego County News Now has a helpful guide to some other area events. Visit here for that compilation.
  • For more event listings, visit; there you can find parades and ceremonies in Onondaga County alongside some other ones taking place in Oswego.
  • Jefferson County residents can use the guide from NNY360 to find events in their area.

No matter how you choose to spend Memorial Day weekend, I hope it includes enjoying the presence of loved ones and community members, especially those who you may have been unable to spend time with during isolation. Also, please keep in mind the incredible heroism and unmatched bravery of our fallen soldiers; without them, we would not have a summer season to enjoy.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 19 Canalview Mall, Fulton, NY 13069 and by email at