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Government buildings, post offices, and some businesses across the Highland Lakes will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. The federal holiday honors U.S. military members who died in service and always falls on the last Monday in May.

Offices for city and county governments, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, and the U.S. Postal Service will be closed all day Monday.

Bank hours might vary depending on branch and location, but ATM machines should be operating. Other businesses might have shorter hours or be closed. Call ahead.

Public parks, large chain stores, and chain restaurants will likely maintain normal operating hours.

Typically, schools also would be closed, but all area districts will be out for the summer break by Friday, May 26.

MEMORIAL DAY HISTORY

Memorial Day originated in the late 19th century in the Civil War’s aftermath. Originally called Decoration Day, it was a day to decorate the graves of soldiers killed in the bloody conflict. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, May was the chosen month because wildflowers were blooming and could be used for decorations. 

The first recorded observances of Decoration Day were in 1866. By 1868, it was a widespread practice to lay flowers on soldiers’ graves in May. The holiday evolved over time, eventually becoming a day to honor the dead of all American wars and conflicts. 

Memorial Day was officially declared a federal holiday in 1971.

dakota@thepicayune.com