Area communities to observe Memorial Day
From Staff Reports May 23, 2012 4:10PM
Volunteers Dolores Koon, left, of Elgin, Ill., and Cathy Story, right, of Sleepy Hollow, Ill., place flags on the graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens in West Dundee, Ill., on Friday, May 27, 2011. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:05AM
Monday is Memorial Day — the national holiday dedicated to the memory of those who died in military service to America and for defending the cause of freedom around the world.
Area communities will observe the occasion with a variety of solemn ceremonies beginning Friday with the placing of flags at River Valley Memorial Gardens in West Dundee.
In addition to the pageantry and ceremonies, there also will be the 35th annual Fox Trot through downtown Elgin — this time on a new day: Saturday. Here is a listing of the weekend highlights:
The Elgin Patriotic Memorial Association, in cooperation with the city of Elgin, will sponsor a variety of programs for Memorial Day on Monday. The schedule is:
8:45 a.m., Mount Hope Cemetery — At Mount Hope Cemetery, 1001 Villa St., there will be a Catholic Mass along with a combined color guard, rifle salute and the playing of “Taps.”
9:15 a.m., Lakewood Memorial Park — A service to honor those buried at Lakewood Memorial Park, located at 30W730 Route 20, will be held at the cemetery’s Garden of Honor and include a combined color guard. The observance will conclude with a rifle salute and the playing of “Taps.”
9:45 a.m., Veterans Memorial Park — A program to honor those who lost their lives at sea will include an address by former Navy fighter pilot and retired commercial pilot Dale Dopkins. The program will include the Elgin Choral Union and conclude with the strewing of flowers into the Fox River, a rifle salute and the playing of “Taps.” The Veterans Memorial Park is located adjacent to the Gail Borden Public Library at 270 N. Grove Ave.
11 a.m., Bluff City Cemetery — 945 Bluff City Blvd. — An Elgin tradition since 1868, this year’s program will be dedicated to all returning veterans and recognize the 180th anniversary of General Winfield Scott’s march through the area during the time of the Blackhawk War. Special tribute will be paid to two soldiers from that conflict who are buried near the Fox River in the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve south of the city.
The program will feature an address by Elgin historian Bill Briska and music by the Elgin Choral Union and the Larkin High School band. Local students will continue the long-held tradition of reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and General John Logan’s Orders, which established Memorial Day.
Officials say the most solemn moment of the morning will be the laying of organizational wreaths at the Grand Army of the Republic memorial — an observance akin to the laying of the wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington, D.C.
Activities will conclude with the roll call of deceased veterans, a rifle salute and the playing of “Taps.”
Following the program, Civil War historian Ken Gough will be on hand to help anyone desiring to know more about any of the Civil War-era graves in the cemetery.
Again this year: A free shuttle bus will pick up riders at the main gate and east gate before and after the service for transportation to and from the ceremony area.
Residents are encouraged to visit local cemeteries during the Memorial Day period. At Bluff City Cemetery, more than 500 flags honoring local veterans line the streets as part of the award winning “Avenue of Flags.” There are also more than 2,500 smaller flags flying over veterans’ graves placed by local volunteers as part of the “Adopt a Cemetery” program.
For further information and directions, visit www.elginmemorialday.org.
East, West Dundee
The 2012 Memorial Day Parade will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in East and West Dundee. The parade route will begin at Immanuel Lutheran Church along Route 72 and proceed into West Dundee to end at Grafelman Park. Anyone interested in participating in the parade is asked to call Ken Andresen from the VFW at 847-649-8233. Appreciation is expressed to all those involved at the VFW Post 2298 for their continued support of this annual parade.
There will be a Memorial Day service at 11:30 a.m. Monday at River Valley Memorial Gardens, Route 31 in West Dundee (just north of Alexander’s Restaurant).
The schedule includes:
Spiritual address will be given by the Rev. Aaron James of First Congregational Church of West Dundee.
Dundee Tri-Cities VFW Post 2298 and Auxiliary will participate in this half-hour service honoring more than 964 veterans buried here at River Valley Memorial Gardens.
Soloist is Kathy Clifford.
Lt. Col. Ernest Gross (retired), a volunteer bugler with Bugles Across America, will participate with the National Anthem and “Taps.”
Josh Cunningham, bagpiper with the Dundee Marching Scotts-Piper Band, will perform.
Note: Flag placement on 964 veteran graves will take place beginning at 9 a.m. Friday at River Valley Memorial Gardens by cemetery staff and volunteers.
Official ceremonies and a parade will take place Monoday on Memorial Day. Events include participation in demonstrating respect and love for the nation to Gold Star Families (those who have lost a family member serving our country), veterans still living, and to families and friends is an appropriate way to honor those who offered and given their lives. All veterans and residents are welcome to participate in several activities planned in St. Charles:
Flag Raising — 6 a.m.: at Baker Community Center, 101 S. Second St.
Cemetery ceremonies — 6:30 a.m.: Boy Scouts from Troop 1 will place flags on the gravesites of our veterans at each of the cemeteries in St. Charles. The cemetery ceremonies also include an honor guard, firing squad and posting of colors. The cemetery ceremonies will begin at the
South Cemetery (east side of 7th Ave., north of Madison), then continue on to the
North Cemetery (west side of Route 25/5th Ave, north of Johnor Avenue), and then conclude at the
Union Cemetery (east side of Route 25/5th Ave., north of Stonehedge Road).
Parade — 10 a.m.: The parade steps off at 6th Street and Main Street, and continues to Riverside Avenue.
Memorial ceremony event — 10:30 a.m.: A special memorial ceremony at the Freedom Shrine will immediately follow the parade. It will take place along the river, west of the St. Charles Police Department, 211 N. Riverside Ave. In the case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside St. Charles Fire Station 1, at 112 N. Riverside Ave.
For more information, call Mark Powell, VFW officer, at 630-587-6444. Also, donations to support Memorial Day activities can be made out to VFW Post 5036 and sent to Mark Powell, 202 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174.
Elgin Fox Trot
Each year, Memorial Day Weekend represents the kick-off to summer, celebrating with a weekend of activities for the whole family. This year marks the 35th Anniversary year of the Elgin Valley Fox Trot, a milestone that will be celebrated with special after-party activities and new opportunities for the entire community to be involved, plus several opportunities to commemorate Memorial Day at patriotic ceremonies and services on Memorial Day.
This year, the race has been moved to Saturday. The 10-mile race kicks off at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K race begins at 7:40 a.m. The start/finish line is in the Center City area, at Kimball Street and Douglas Avenue. Maps of the race route are available on the Fox Trot website: www.cityofelgin.org/foxtrot.
For those who are not interested in running, “Walk for a Cause” invites everyone who is able to join them in walking this two-mile fun walk and support any of the 18 participating charities. The two-mile fun walk kicks off at 7:50 a.m. at the start/finish Line at Kimball and Douglas.
Registration for all races is available the day of the race in The Centre Fieldhouse, from 6 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. A complete list of participating charities is located on the website www.cityofelgin.org/foxtrot.
For race enthusiasts and family members waiting at the start/finish line, there will be a festival area that includes live music, kids activities, food and a beer tent.