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Your guide to Memorial Day events

Memorial Day events are scheduled for Monday, May 28, unless otherwise noted.

La Salle

A service will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at the La Salle Veterans Home, 1015 O’Conor Ave., for veterans who have died since Memorial Day last year. There will be speakers and music.


A walking parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion, proceeding to the cemetery at the north end of town. Leland School choral and band members will perform, with Leland American Legion Post 570 overseeing ceremonies at the cemetery.

Long Point

American Legion Post 1217 will have a service at 10 a.m. at the Long Point Fire Station that will include speeches and songs. Names of local veterans who have died will be read aloud. After the service, the legion will form the color guard and the group will walk to Long Point Cemetery, where children will lay the wreaths made by the auxiliary on the graves of veterans. There will be a 21-gun salute.


The program will start at 10 a.m. inside the American Legion Hall, 571 Rutland St. The names of local veterans who died in the past year and of those servicemen from Marseilles killed in action will be read aloud prior to a 21-gun rifle salute. The Avenue of Flags will be set up at Riverview Cemetery at 7 a.m. and remain on display until late afternoon.


A program is scheduled at 10 a.m. at Memorial Park with the Oglesby American Legion hosting. Post members and color guard will assemble at 9:15 a.m. at the Oglesby American Legion Hall to prepare for the march to Memorial Park.


The Ottawa Memorial Association’s program will start at 9 a.m. at the Fox River Bridge on East Main Street, with a program honoring all Navy mothers followed by the sinking of a Navy Mothers wreath at 9:30 a.m. A parade then will proceed up Columbus Street to Washington Square for a 10 a.m. ceremony. Leading the parade will be veterans Cliff Parker, Bob Schinz, George Mason and Benny Schomas. At the park, veterans groups will conduct flag ceremonies. The Rev. Tim Johnson, of Bethel Lutheran Church, will give the invocation. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Lloyd Chapman will sing the national anthem. The Ottawa High School and Shepherd Middle School bands will perform. Buglers will be Bobby Bradish and Brody Snook. Lydia Oker, a freshman at Rosary High School in Aurora, will read her award-winning essay on the topic “What National Monument Means the Most to Me.” The names of local veterans who died during the past year will be read aloud.


The Peru American Legion and Peru Veterans Memorial Group will sponsor a program at 11 a.m. at Washington Park, near 10th and West streets. A wreath will be laid and the Peru Municipal Band will play, with a 21-gun salute fired. An address will also be given.


Ransom American Legion Post 674 will host services at 10:30 a.m. in front of the village’s war memorial.


Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Veterans Park Gazebo downtown. Services will then proceed to Oak Ridge Cemetery at 11:20 a.m., St. Paul’s Cemetery at 11:40 a.m., Pratt Cemetery at noon, Pine Mound Cemetery at 12:25 p.m. and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1486 at 12:45 p.m. with refreshments served. Brown-Miller American Legion Post 181 and Lewis P. Schultz VFW Post 1486 will provide the presentation.


Seneca American Legion, Kasal Post 457, will host a service near the Memorial Wall at Main and Scott streets. The Seneca High School band will perform a musical tribute at 10:30 a.m., and the formal program will begin at 11 a.m., featuring a message by the Rev. Phil Peterson of Stavanger Lutheran Church. A reception will be in the Library Cultural Center following the closing comments. Limited seating will be available for veterans and the public is encouraged to bring their own seating.


Memorial Day will begin with the first installment of the Nina LeCuyer Memorial 5K run. Sign-in and registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the legion, 300 W. Si Johnson Ave. The American Legion also will host its annual breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Breakfast is $5, runners and road guards for the race will eat for free. The American Legion will acknowledge 10 student winners of its writing contests from Unit 2 schools. Two bicycles will be awarded to winning students in fourth grade and flags flown at the Capitol will be awarded to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade winners. A flag ceremony is scheduled after the student presentations. Then the American Legion will lead a march to the Sheridan Cemetery, where historian Howard Buckle will give a talk about Memorial Day and its meaning. A 21-gun salute will be part of the ceremony.


Festivities will begin with a veteran-led parade at 10 a.m. starting at Somonauk High School and ending at City Hall with a 21-gun salute. Somonauk schools also will have a cookout at the police station and the fire department will host water fights near the fire station.


Assembly and posting of the color guards will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the West Main Street bridge. A wreath will be cast in memory of Navy veterans lost at sea from World War II and the Streator High School band will play the Navy hymn before proceeding to Veterans Plaza. At 11 a.m. will be the posting of the colors and firing squad and posting the flag to half staff. The invocation will be given, followed by the placement of the wreath at Veterans Plaza by the American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary. A moment of silence is planned for departed comrades. Tom Rice, Air Force veteran, will give the address. Henry Araujo will given final comments, followed by a firing salute to fallen comrades and the benediction. Master of Ceremonies will be Ron Sauers, and Officer for the Day will be Ed Kinkade. In the event of rain, activities will be at Plumb Pavilion. Chicken baskets will be available at the VFW after the ceremony.


The Tonica American Legion will host a Memorial Day service at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at the old cemetery east of Tonica Methodist Church. The event will be at Tonica Grade School if it rains. The guest speaker will be Vietnam veteran Chester Lewis. The La Salle-Peru High School band also will play.


The Utica American Legion will host a Memorial Day parade starting 9 a.m. at the Utica Community Hall at the corner of Mill and Church streets. The parade will then continue to Danny Carey Memorial Park for a short memorial ceremony. Ceremonies also will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, and Waltham Cemetery along the parade route.


Memorial Day services will be at 10 a.m. at City Park. If it rains, go to the American Legion at 118 W. First South St. Services for the veterans buried in Cherry Point and Cumberland cemeteries will be at 1:30 p.m. with the Rev. Robert Idell officiating.