Memorial Day Watchfires Built Using Old Pallets Honor Our Nation’s Vets
Memorial Day occurs in just five days on Monday, May 29th. Last year we blogged about the annual watchfire in Syracuse, NY, a special holiday tradition occurring this weekend that involves pallets and honors our nation’s vets. This year we learned there is not just one, but five (and possibly more) similar rituals.
What is a “watchfire” exactly? The watchfire stems from a long military tradition that, following a long battle or march, a large fire would be started so
those missing or lost could locate and rejoin their comrades. The annual Memorial Day watchfires will be built using old wooden pallets, boards, logs, and other scrap wood.
On Sunday, May 28th, the Vietnam Veterans of America Central New York Chapter 103 will hold its 30th Annual Watchfire Celebration in the Veterans Memorial Watchfire Park at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The bonfire will also consume thousands of old American flags that are no longer fit to fly due to wear and tear. Anyone in the community can respectfully retire unserviceable flags by bringing them to the event to be burned as prescribed by federal law.
And, on Tuesday, May 30th, the Vietnam Veterans of America Rockland County Chapter 333 will build watchfires at four permanent locations, also in New York, at Rockland County, Clausland Mountain, Piermont Pier, Bowline Park, and Gene Levy Park. These watchfires are lit at midnight and burn for 24 hours, with veterans standing watch and changing shifts as they did many generations ago.
Rose Pallet would like to publicly salute our Nation’s Veterans. Thank you servicemen and women and your families for all you have sacrificed to protect this great nation, our traditions, and values.
If you have spent time in the military or are still active in reserves, comment below and let us know which branch; we will send you a special “thank you” for your service.