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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    A time for bar-b-ques, family get-togethers, hot dogs and brews, Memorial Day encompasses the “official” start of summer as Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess shake off the cobwebs from winter and transition into warmer temperatures, brighter sunshine and longer days. At the root of this glorious 3-day weekend, however, is an important holiday that celebrates the men and women who have fought and possibly died in combat overseas.

    Luckily, the Hudson Valley has built and maintained a strong support network for area veterans, including programs and events to commemorate and honor those who have served, been injured or died in any line of duty. While this weekend celebrates the beginning of summer vacations, no school and great weather, there are a bunch of ceremonies and parades to look forward to in honor of our nation’s soldiers.

    Westchester County: LoHud.com has a great list of events spanning from Mount Vernon to Peekskill, including Shrub Oak’s memorial ceremony at the graves of two recently-discovered Civil War veterans at the Methodist church. Rye’s Memorial Day will feature a BBQ, following a helicopter and Osprey flight demonstration. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1939 of Sleepy Hollow will unveil Tarrytown’s Gold Star Mothers Memorial at Patriots Park. For more observances across Westchester County, click here.

    Putnam County: Each year, Putnam County’s veterans congregate in the Village of Brewster for its annual parade and memorial ceremony. Residents countywide join veterans, public officials and fellow community members for a parade along Main Street with a handful of speakers at Electrazone Field in Brewster. This year’s ceremony starts at 11 a.m. outside of the Brewster Fire House and will snake its way through the train station and down through to the playing fields.

    Dutchess County: Dutchess County’s executive posted a great list of Memorial Day events on the county's website, with ceremonies, parades and observances as far south as Pawling and as far north as Milan. If you have time, check out Pawling’s observance at Holy Trinity—the lawn is lined with 300 tiny American flags labeled with each name and branch of service for each deceased veteran. Beacon’s ceremony includes a parade and naval event with a gun salute and wreath tossed into Fishkill Creek.