(The VVA 103 Annual Memorial Day Watchfire is a rain or shine event.)
The next Watchfire is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, May 28th, 2017 in the Veterans Memorial Watchfire Park, New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY.
The Watchfire ceremony and lighting of the pyre commence at dusk, but do go earlier to get a good spot! Food and drink vendors will be on-site.
The Watchfire stems from the military tradition that following a battle or long march, a large fire would be started so those missing or lost could locate and rejoin their comrades. Using that time honored model symbolically, we use the warmth and light of our Watchfire to guide everyone to join us in reflection of those comrades who have gone before us and made our nation strong through their service and sacrifice.
VVA Chapter 103 uses the Watchfire and accompanying ceremony to make Memorial Day more meaningful for everyone in the community. We invite Veterans and Non-Veterans to gather at the Watchfire to honor those who have so faithfully served the nation.
The 1995 Watchfire honored the American Veterans of World Wars I, II and Korea. In 1996 we dedicated the event to the Gold Star Mothers. The 1997 event was dedicated to honor Women in Service. Please help us to ensure that Memorial Day does not pass without a suitable remembrance of the women who have served and are serving the nation. The years following 1997 have been dedicated to all United States of America Veterans.
Come join us at the Watchfire to make Memorial Day an event that honors all those who have served and given their all for our way of life.
The Watchfire also allows VVA Chapter 103 to provide the community with an opportunity to respectfully retire unserviceable American Flags. You are encouraged to bring tattered, worn or faded American Flags for respectful burning on the pyre.