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Holiday Hours: Memorial Day

12:00PM / Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army
Arlington National Cemetery is the nation's first federal military cemetery. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Memorial Day is being celebrated Monday, May 26. It is a federal holiday observing the sacrifices of the nation's servicemen and -women. It started as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, particularly in the South, and many states adopted the day as Decoration Day to commemorate all U.S. soldiers after World War I.

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress. It falls on the last Monday in May.

Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running

Open:
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores

Check here for a list of parades and observances.

MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  The heaviest traffic is expected Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings.  Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between 1pm and 7pm on those days.

Traffic is especially heavy at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and at Exit 11A, I-495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine. In 2012, the Friday before Memorial Day was the 13th busiest day on the Turnpike in terms of toll transactions with approximately 350,000 logged between I-95 and the New York Border.

MassDOT will suspend all construction work on major arterial roadways from 12:00PM Noon on Friday, May 23 through the start of normal business on Tuesday, May 27.
 
Before you travel, check the interactive live Traffic Cameras web page to view current traffic.

Sign up at the 511 Traveler Information Service to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. MassDOT as always reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving.  Call into the 511 service before departing.

A reminder that the Massachusetts Safe Driving Law bans texting while driving and cell phone use while driving by 16 and 17 year old drivers.  Drivers are reminded to travel safely and avoid distracted driving such as using cell phones.   

To save time, money and gas, motorists who have not yet done so are encouraged to join E-ZPass to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths.

CapeFLYER weekend rail service to Cape Cod and the Islands resumes Friday, May 23, through Labor Day.  Visit www.capeflyer.com  for complete schedules and ticket information.

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 Monday night through 5 Tuesday morning.
 
The MBTA will operate buses and subways on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day.

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