WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Communities are coming together on Monday to observe Memorial Day, a day of remembrance, to honor U.S. military members who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

At the Connecticut Veteran’s Memorial in West Hartford, a ceremony is being held late Monday morning to honor the brave men and women service members who died protecting national freedoms. The ceremony will follow a parade that steps off on Farmington Avenue, at 10 a.m.

This is the first time West Hartford will host their Memorial Day parade since 2019.

The parade is only one event of the many Memorial Day festivities happening across the state.

And, with Memorial Day being the unofficial start to summer, many people will be coming back from their long weekend getaways.

Despite rising airfares and gas prices, millions of Americans were out of town this weekend. About 39 million are expected to travel during the long weekend, and airlines report they are seeing travel return to pre-pandemic levels.

Triple A said about 35 million Americans are driving to their weekend getaways.

“Auto travel is expected to be 5% higher even though drivers will be paying the most for gasoline this Memorial Day weekend than they ever have before,” said Auto Club Spokesperson, Doug Shupe.

“We are expecting, based on what we’re seeing for Memorial Day, that it’s going to be a very robust travel period for summer. People just want to get out and go,” stated Andrew Gross, Triple A spokesman.

Experts advise that the best time to hit the road to go home is before 11 a.m. on Memorial Day morning. Drivers can expect to see most traffic between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

For the full list of Memorial Day resources and events in the area on Monday, download the News 8 app.