TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Fort Huachuca will honor America’s Veterans and salute fallen service members during its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 27, at 11 a.m. at the Post Cemetery.
The event is free and open to members of the public who have access to Fort Huachuca. Due to limited parking at the cemetery, shuttle service will be provided from the parking lots at Christy and Shipp Avenues and Hines and Andrews Roads. Col. Chad Rambo, Fort Huachuca garrison commander, is the speaker for the event.
The Widowed Support Center, Gold Star Wives and the Society of Military Widows will dedicate wreaths to fallen service members. A member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will read VFW General Order #1. A rifle squad from the Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard will render the 21-gun salute. At noon, a firing battery from the Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard will render the National Salute with five canons located on Reservoir Hill.
Evergreen Mortuary, Cemetery & Crematory in Tucson is hosting its annual Memorial Day Service, “Heroes Remembered,” on Monday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Evergreen Memorial park at 3015 N. Oracle Road. The service will feature a Walk of Honor ceremony, invocation, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the National Anthem, multiple readings, roll call and a wreath-laying ceremony. Councilman Richard Fimbres will also share special remarks and “Taps” will be played along with a rifle salute. Evergreen will offer a complimentary hot dog lunch for attendees.
The East Lawn Palms Mortuary & Cemetery is hosting a Memorial Day service for all veterans on Monday, May 27, beginning at 9 a.m. at 5801 E. Grant Road. VFW Post 4903 will perform a ritual ceremony, and Sons of Orpheus will perform a musical selection. Sons of the American Revolution along with Piper Tammy Simmons will present colors. There will be a rifle salute and Taps by Bulk Fuel Company Alpha Marine Reserves. the guest speaker will be U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Iavarone. Complimentary hot dogs will be served immediately following all ceremonies.
The Funeraria Del Angel South Lawn Cemetery is hosting a Memorial Day service for all veterans on Monday, May 27, beginning at 9 a.m. at 5401 S. Park Avenue. A ritual ceremony will be presented by VFW Post 549. The Tucson Concert Band will perform. A color presentation by Davis Monthan Air Force Base with Piper William Don Carlos followed by a rifle salute by the Tucson Detachment 007 Marine Corps League. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 106 will have a Memorial Museum on display featuring all local fallen heroes, past and present which will be open May 25 - 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The guest speaker will be Antony Fennell, retired U.S. Army Colonel.
The Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing based at the Tucson International Airport is scheduled to conduct F-16 Fighting Falcon flyovers on Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day events. Two jets will fly over the following locations:
- Memorial Day Parade and Service at Tucson Estates Park, Tucson-9 a.m.
- Memorial Day Service at East Lawn Palms, Tucson-9:05 a.m.
- Memorial Day Service at South Lawn Cemetery, Tucson-9:10 a.m.
- Memorial Day Service at Green Valley Mortuary, Green Valley-9:15 a.m.
- Memorial Day Ceremony at Purple Heart Park, Tucson-10 a.m.
Transit service will be as follows on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day:
- Sun Tran Routes 1 through 99 and the Sun Link streetcar will run on a Sunday schedule.
- Sun Express Routes 101X-204X will not be in operation.
- Sun Shuttle fixed-route service and the Sahuarita/Green Valley Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride will not be in operation. (Sun Shuttle ADA Dial-a-Ride service provided by Discount Cab and Oro Valley Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride will offer service from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Americans with Disabilities Act-qualified passengers only.)
Sun Van service will mirror the service provided by Sun Tran. Sun Van’s Reservation Center will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Memorial Day.
The Customer Service Center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist passengers, and will return to regular weekday hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
The following transit services will be closed for Memorial Day:
- Special Services Office, located at 35 W. Alameda, and returning to regular weekday hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
- Sun Tran’s Administrative Office, located at 3920 N. Sun Tran Boulevard, and returning to regular weekday hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
All transit services will resume regular schedules on Tuesday, May 28.
For specific route times and bus information, passengers are advised to consult Sun Tran’s Route Booklets, visit www.suntran.com, or call the Customer Service Center at (520) 792-9222 (for persons with hearing and speech impairments, call TDD: 520-628-1565).
Most city facilities will be closed on Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.
The Cove will be open on Memorial Day only for Open Swim from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. The Cove will be closed on Saturday, May 25, due to staff support of the Wine, Beer, & Spirits Festival and Sky Islands Summit Challenge.
Monday trash will be collected on Tuesday, May 28, and Tuesday trash pickup will occur on Wednesday, May 29. There will be no special pickups on Wednesday and there will be no changes to the Thursday and Friday trash pickups.
The Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center’s schedule will not change. It will be open Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and closed both Sunday and Monday as usual.
Memorial Day Holiday - Town offices will be closed.
Oro Valley Aquatic Center hours – The Aquatic Center will be open regular hours (5 a.m. to 8 p.m.) with FREE ADMISSION for all active and retired military personnel.
Oro Valley Community Center – The Community Center will be open regular hours (5 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
All offices of the Coronado National Forest will be closed on Monday, May 27, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. (The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center will remain open.) Business will resume Tuesday, May 28, during regular operating hours.
Despite the office closure, fire and recreation personnel and law enforcement officers will be on duty over the Memorial Day weekend for the safety of visitors.
Forest officials expect large numbers of visitors to the most popular campgrounds and picnic areas throughout the holiday weekend. The following are tips for safe and enjoyable weekend outings:
Campfires, Smoking and Fireworks. Fire or smoking restrictions are currently not in effect on Coronado National Forest. However, vegetation is dry in places and wildfires can easily be ignited. Visitors who plan to enjoy campfires should carry enough extra water to be used specifically to extinguish campfires; avoid building fires on windy days; use metal grills and fire rings where provided; otherwise choose campfire sites carefully which are devoid of vegetation above, below or around the fire site; maintain small fires with no fuel protruding from the grill or fire ring and ensure all fires and smoking materials are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them for any reason. (Drown with water, stir, drown and continue until cold. “Smothering” a fire with dirt is not sufficient to put the fire “dead out.”) Cigarette butts should be placed in ashtrays. Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all National Forest lands.
Weather. Days are warming up, although storms passing through bring sporadic relief from rising temperatures and can rapidly cool the higher elevations. Recreationists are encouraged to check weather forecasts and plan for expected conditions in areas they plan to visit. This includes taking weather-appropriate clothing, plenty of drinking water (one quart per hour per person is the minimum recommendation, with one to two quarts per hour recommended for those engaged in strenuous activity such as hiking) snacks, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes.
Camping. Campers are encouraged to be good neighbors and recognize “quiet time” at 10:00 p.m.; to avoid low spots and pitch tents in areas that are well-drained; to bring drinking water, as not all areas supply potable water; and to remove trash, and leave clean campsites.
Wildlife. The Coronado is home to many wildlife species. Visitors should avoid contact with wildlife and utilize “bear aware” principles. Bears and other animals may be attracted to human food and trash. Maintain clean campsites. Store food out of sight and smell range of bears. Utilize metal storage boxes for food and garbage in recreation sites. Cookware and dishes should be washed in designated areas away from camping sites and stored promptly after meals. Odorous products such as toothpaste or lotions and clothing with food or cooking odors should not be taken into sleeping areas. Wildlife should not be fed intentionally or accidentally. For their safety, pets should be leashed at all times. Prevention of wildlife encounters is encouraged. “Keep Wildlife Wild.”
International Boundary Travel Caution. Forest visitors traveling in remote areas of the Coronado National Forest in the vicinity of the International Border with Mexico are advised to remain alert to their surroundings as illegal smuggling activity is known to occur in some areas. This is not cause for alarm, rather for situational awareness, as those involved in illegal activity generally try to avoid detection. Visitors are advised not to attempt to intercede should they witness suspicious activity, but to contact the nearest law enforcement agency with a location, descriptions of persons, vehicles, date and time and other pertinent information.
Dispersed Use/Off Highway Vehicles. Dispersed picnicking and camping outside of developed recreation areas on the Forest is allowed unless otherwise posted. Visitors must provide their own water and pack out their garbage using the “pack it in, pack it out” principle. Off-road/off-trail vehicle travel is prohibited.
For Ranger District and Recreation Area Information: “Know before you go.”
- Douglas Ranger District (Chiricahua Mountains, Dragoon Mountains) - (520) 364-3468.
- Nogales Ranger District (Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon; Atascosa Mountains; Tumacacori Mountains) - (520) 281-2296.
- Safford Ranger District (Mt. Graham) - (928) 428-4150.
- Sierra Vista Ranger District (Huachuca Mountains, Miller Peak Wilderness) - (520) 378-0311.
- Santa Catalina Ranger District (Mt. Lemmon, Sabino Canyon) - (520) 749-8700.
The Arizona Department of Transportation says there are no construction-related closures scheduled.
ADOT and its contractors will not schedule weekend closures along state-maintained highways, including Phoenix-area freeways, from Friday afternoon through late Monday night, May 27.
Drivers should allow extra time, especially during peak travel periods, and be prepared to slow down and use caution in existing work zones. Focus on safe driving, including buckling up and not speeding.
According to ADOT, there were seven fatal crashes with a total of eight deaths on Arizona roadways, including local streets, over last year’s Memorial Day weekend. Two of those fatal crashes were alcohol-related.
ADOT’s highway safety recommendations include:
- Never drive while impaired – arrange for a designated driver in advance
- Buckle up and obey speed limits
- Check your vehicle, including tire pressure
- Get some rest before traveling – fatigue is a serious safety risk
- Allow extra travel time and be prepared for unscheduled closures
- Avoid distractions – don’t text while driving
- Pack extra supplies, including drinking water and snack foods
- Don’t park in areas with grasses or brush – hot vehicle components could start a fire
Highway condition information is available via Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT, as well as at az511.gov. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, there is a free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.
Sauce Pizza and Wine:
On Monday, May 27, subscribers of Sauce Pizza & Wine’s E-Family email list will receive an offer for 25 percent off their entire bill to use on Memorial Day only. Those who are not yet members can sign up before Memorial Day to receive the offer. Offer is valid for dine-in and take out (excludes online 3rd party delivery) at all locations. May not be combined with any other offers or discounts. No cash value. For more information, please visit www.saucepizzaandwine.com.
Red Roof Inn:
Red Roof is honoring and thanking active military members and veterans for their service. The brand is offering 10 percent off their stay at any Red Roof nationwide for all military, vets and retirees in May and all year round.