Memorial Day marks the beginning of the Summer season for most retailers. It's one of the top five days for cookouts every year. The holiday means banks, the post office, all government offices, libraries and schools will be closed.
Most towns will delay their garbage pickup--it's a holiday for the folks who work at the landfills, too. In Lincolnton, the regular Monday route will be worked on Tuesday this week, the regular Tuesday route on Wednesday and the Wednesday and Thursday routes will both be picked up on Thursday.
You can't go swimming at Betty Ross Park. They normally open on Memorial Day weekend, but this year, the opening was delayed because of the flood last July. The pool was the last thing repaired. It's ready--but they're checking to make sure everything is right before opening this coming weekend.
You can go swimming at Sally's Y in Denver--their pool opened Saturday for the first time this year. Of course, the pool at the Lincoln County YMCA in Lincolnton is indoors, so it's open year-round.
Drive carefully this Memorial Day...and be sure to buckle up. The Highway Patrol and many local law enforcement agencies are involved in a campaign to increase seat belt use. Getting caught without yours buckled could cost you up to $181 in court costs and fines. The Governor's Highway Safety Program says that front seat passenger seat belt usage rates dropped in 2013 to 84.9 percent, down from 85.7 percent in 2012. In Gastonia, police are using undercover officers dressed as homeless persons to spot violators. Other cities are using cameras.
If you're planning to be on the lake, remember that courtesy is the best way to avoid a boating accident--and safe trumps sorry when it comes to wearing a life preserver or other floatation device. Remember to watch your children. A 4-year-old from Newton nearly drowned at Lake Lookout Saturday and remained in critical condition late Sunday at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Of course, it would only be appropriate--as you enjoy the holiday--that you pause to remember the reason it's a holiday: it's a time to honor and remember those who died in service to our country.
The American Legion will hold a Memorial Day service on the Courtsquare at 4:30 PM. It would be good if a sizeable crowd showed up to pay their respects to those whose sacrifice made it possible for us to have the freedoms we cherish.
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