Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and residents, perhaps more than ever, are anxious to observe the holiday with activity or simply to get out for a bit as businesses and amenities continue the process of re-opening after coronavirus shutdowns.
While the official first day of summer is June 20, traditionally residents use the three-day Memorial Day Weekend to jump-start the summer season.
Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 25, as a day to honor and mourn military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Among the options in Peoria where residents can go to reflect are Veterans Memorial, located at Rio Vista Community Park, 8866 W. Thunderbird Road.
“The Peoria Veterans Memorial pays tribute to the past, present and future veterans and their families for the sacrifices they have made to protect our country, ideals and virtues,” wrote John Kane of Architekton, the Tempe-based collaborative architecture, planning and interior design firm instrumental in its construction. “The linear configuration of the memorial represents a time line progressing through the history of our country and projecting into the future.”
The memorial also features a lake and small gathering area providing shade and seating for quiet reflection.
“The message is to every man and woman who have served in the armed forces that we owe our thanks for protecting our families and our country,” Mr. Kane wrote. “The story is told through the narratives and graphics etched or embedded into the surfaces of the monument.”
The Memorial Wall is an 88-foot long, black granite wall giving special recognition to the current five branches of the armed forces: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. The United States Great Seal is represented on the first eight-foot panel section along with the five service branches and a special tribute that states, “This memorial is dedicated by the city of Peoria to all of those who have served and are serving our country in the defense of freedom.”
Peoria’s Honor Wall pays tribute to the past, present and future veterans and their families for the sacrifices made to protect the country.
In terms of Memorial Day Weekend plans, the city of Peoria has reopened select recreational amenities that allow for appropriate physical distancing.
Select park amenities including tennis and pickleball courts, dog parks, volleyball courts, Rio Vista Skatepark, playgrounds, and restroom facilities reopened May 16. The city encourages all individuals to maximize physical distance from others when in public spaces. Avoid social settings of more than 10, where appropriate distancing is not practical.
On May 16, all parks and trails re-opened daily and all court lights will once again be operational at dusk. Court play (basketball, pickle ball, tennis) will be open for groups of less than 10. All dog parks will be re-opened. Field and ramada reservations are canceled through May 30.
In an effort to assist Peoria residents during the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Peoria has established an information and referral helpline to answer questions and share resources with individuals based on needs. The lines will be open for residents to call 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The number is 623-773-7770, or residents can email firstname.lastname@example.org.