Memorial Day programs set across Illinois Valley

Several communities will host ceremonies to honor the fallen

The masks will be lowered and the flags hoisted on Memorial Day. Veterans who spent two years social distancing will stand shoulder to shoulder as the firing squads honor the fallen.

Memorial Day will be observed throughout North Central Illinois and the public is strongly encouraged to participate in the ceremonies honoring those gave the ultimate sacrifice. While some services have been truncated or consolidated as aging veterans groups dwindle in size, most area residents will find some observances conducted within a few minutes drive.

An updated listing appears below. Any references to “Monday” mean Monday, May 30 unless otherwise noted.

Amboy, Sublette

Amboy American Legion Post 453 will hold services at 10 a.m. Monday at Amboy Veterans Park followed by services at 11 a.m. at the Ellice Dinges Center in Sublette.


American Legion Post 261 of Buda will have services at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hopeland Cemetery, rain or shine.

Arlington, Cherry, Dalzell, Ladd, LaMoille, Seatonville

Harold E. Russell American Legion Post No. 938 in Ladd will process, weather permitting, at 8 a.m. Monday to Hollowayville United Church of Christ cemetery, at 8:45 a.m. to Cherry Miner’s Cemetery, at 9:45 a.m. to Calvary Cemetery in Arlington, at 10:15 a.m. to Greenfield Cemetery in LaMoille, at 11:15 a.m. to Dalzell Memorial Park and at noon at War Memorial Park in Ladd.

In case of inclement weather, some of the above services may be canceled: the Cherry program would move to Holy Trinity Church hall, the war memorial park program would move to Ladd Community Center and the Greenfield Cemetery program will move to Allen Junior High School.

Compton, West Brooklyn

The Compton-West Brooklyn American Legion Post 657 will host two Memorial Day services. The first service will begin at 10 a.m. at Melugins Grove Cemetery, Compton. Those in attendance are encouraged to bring their worn out or torn flags for disposal at the flag-burning ceremony.

The second service will begin at 11 a.m. at West Brooklyn Cemetery.

Dover, Malden, Princeton

The local American Legion, VFW and AmVets will host services at the following area cemeteries beginning at 8 a.m. Monday: Oakland Cemetery, then Elm Lawn Cemetery at 8:20 a.m. Dover Cemetery at 8:45 a.m. and Malden Cemetery at 9:15 a.m. Parade participants will assemble approximately 10 a.m. at the north end of Princeton and proceed to Soldiers and Sailors Park, where a program will begin at 10:45 a.m.


American Legion James H. Hamill Post 549 will hold services at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the east gymnasium of Earlville High School.

Granville, Hennepin

American Legion Post 1044 in Hennepin will conduct services at 8:30 a.m. at the Florid Cemetery, 9 a.m. at the Union Grove Cemetery and 11:30 a.m. at the Hennepin Riverside Cemetery.

Granville American Legion Post 180 and Putnam County VFW Post 8324 will conduct services at 10 a.m. Monday at the Granville Cemetery. Guest speaker is Dr. Ron McNeill of the United Church of Christ in Granville. Participants wishing to process are to meet at 9 a.m. at the American Legion Hall.


Henry American Legion Post 323 will conduct services at 10 a.m. Monday at the riverfront, followed by services at the city cemetery at 11 a.m. A flag dedication will be noon at Stoner Park. Veterans and their families are invited to breakfast 7-9 a.m. at the legion post.

La Salle, Oglesby

Oglesby American Legion Post 237 will conduct Memorial Day services at 10 a.m. Monday at Oglesby Memorial Park, weather permitting. Firing detail will consist of La Salle-Oglesby Veterans Memorial Group and Post 237 members. The public is invited; bring lawn chairs.

Leonore, Lostant

American Legion Post 173 will conduct services at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Leonore. In case of rain, services will be moved into the church hall. Then, services will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday near the Lostant Park shelter.

Magnolia, Varna, McNabb

McNabb and Magnolia American Legion Posts will march to Caledonia Cemetery at 7:30 a.m. Monday followed by services at 8 a.m. at Friends Cemetery and at 9:15 a.m. at Magnolia Cemetery, followed by refreshments at the fire station.

The procession resumes at 10:25 a.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery No. 2 and then St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Varna. The event concludes with 11 a.m. services at the war memorial at Varna Grade School.


Memorial Day services will be at 10 a.m. in Manlius Park.


Memorial Day services will be conducted 10 a.m. at Marseilles American Legion, 571 Rutland St.


The Mendota Memorial Day Program will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Restland Cemetery Memorial Gardens, Mendota. The Veterans Memorial Council, VFW Post 4079 and its Auxiliary and American Legion Post 540 will participate.

Bill Hunt will provide the opening address followed by Presentation of Colors, Raising of the Flag and the National Anthem. Invocation will be delivered by Associate Pastor Jay Miller, followed by a musical selection, roll call of the deceased and laying of the wreaths, firing squad and taps. Miller will deliver the benediction.


Neponset American Legion Post 875 will conduct services at 10 a.m. Monday at Scott Park and will recognize Jim Golby, 75-year member, and Morey Yepson, 50-year member. The keynote speaker will be Jim Talaska of Washington, Illinois addressing the positive partnerships between communities and their local American Legion Posts. In case of rain, the community building will be used. Military honors will be conducted at Floral Hill and West Cemeteries immediately following the program.

New Bedford

The New Bedford Royal Neighbors will observe services at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5 at Greenville-Fairfield Cemetery. In case of rain, services will be moved to the Christian Church Hall in New Bedford.


Immaculate Conception Church in Ohio will hold Memorial Day Mass at 8 a.m. Monday followed by a rosary at St. Mary’s Cemetery, weather permitting.


Members of the Ottawa Memorial Association will gather for a ceremony at 8:15 a.m. Monday at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Parade lineup will be at 9 a.m. on Main Street at the Fox River Bridge.

The Navy Memorial Presentation is at 9:15 a.m. followed immediately by the parade.

After the parade, participants assemble in Washington Park for a ceremony at 10 a.m., following which the public is invited to a luncheon at the American Legion Post 33, directly across from Washington Park.

Paw Paw

American Legion Post 511 will visit six area cemeteries, starting with North Cemetery at 8 a.m. Monday, and conclude with services at Wyoming Cemetery at 11 a.m. Monday. Services are rain or shine.


The municipal service will be conducted by Peru Veterans Memorial Group, along with the local American Legion and VFW posts. The Veterans Memorial Group and Peru Municipal Band will line up at 10:45 a.m. Monday on the west side of Washington Park. They will march into the baseball diamond and observe a moment of silence at 11 a.m. in honor of fallen soldiers. Guest speaker is Steve Kreitzer, superintendent of the La Salle County Veterans Assistance Commission.


A service is planned 10:30 a.m. Monday at the memorial on Lincoln Street. An invocation will be provided by Chaplain Denny Bergensen and a welcome by Post Commander Joe Myers, followed by a reading of veterans from the Ransom area who have died. The playing of taps and a 21 gun salute will take place.

Sandwich, Somonauk

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1486, VFW Post 1486 Auxiliary Brown-Miller American Legion Post 181, Legion Post 181 Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 181, and Post 181 Legion Riders will be participating in the following ceremonies Monday: 9:30 a.m. Pine Mound Cemetery, La Salle County; 10 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Sandwich; 10:30 a.m. Oakridge Cemetery, Sandwich; 10:55 a.m. Oak Mound Cemetery, Somonauk Township; 11:20 a.m. St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery, Sandwich; 11:40 a.m. Pratt Road Cemetery, Sandwich; and at noon at the VFW Post 1486 Memorial, Sandwich.


Services will be at 10:45 a.m. rain or shine at the Veterans Wall at Seneca Public Library, 210 N. Main St. Music will be performed by the Seneca High School Band and the keynote speaker will be Rev. Megan Thompson. The ceremony will include a rifle salute and taps, followed by a reception in the cultural center.


Services will at 11 a.m. Monday at Soldiers and Sailors Park. The program is sponsored by the Sheffield Historical Society. American Legion Post 415 will participate. The Danish Church and Museum will be open for viewing, as well.

Spring Valley

Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Valley Memorial Park, rain or shine. Featured speaker is Tom Tonozzi. American Legion, VFW and Valley Memorial Park are sponsoring the event. Spring Valley Fire Department, 10/33 Ambulance and local scout troops will participate. Spring Valley Municipal Band will perform.


The Streator Memorial Day Program will be at 10:45 a.m. Monday at Veterans Plaza in front of the old VFW Post. Assembly and posting of Color Guards will be conducted by Mark Lowe. A wreath will be cast in memory of those lost at sea by Leann Austin, escorted by husband Dan. The Streator High School Band will perform and participants will process to Veterans Plaza at 11 a.m. for services. The Memorial Day address will be given by Jennifer Huber, with final comments by VFW Commander Jim Limberg and benediction by John Gurtz.


Beginning at 11 a.m. Monday in Tiskilwa’s East Park, U.S. Navy veteran Jennifer Fisher will host Tiskilwa Historical Society’s annual ceremony. The program will include laying of wreaths at two war memorials, comments by a noteworthy speaker, and other patriotic events.

Following the ceremony, the Historical Society is hosting an Open House at its Gallery on Galena, the former American Legion Hall. Just south of the railroad tracks on Galena Street, the former Post 346 has been restored by T-H-S to display military memorabilia as well as a replica of a one-room country school.


Tonica American Legion Post 260 will conduct services at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 29 at the Cannon Shelter in downtown Tonica. The La Salle-Peru Township High School Band will perform. The event is rain or shine and the public is asked to bring lawn chairs. Commander Lowell Beenenga will speak and discuss the history of the Cannon Shelter and the cannons.


Memorial services will be at 9 a.m. Monday at Danny Carey Memorial Park, at 10 a.m. at Utica Cemetery and at 11 a.m. at Waltham cemetery

Van Orin

Memorial Day services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Bache Chapel on Route 92 in Van Orin. Special speaker will be Mike Masters. Services will be held inside the chapel with refreshments served immediately following the observances.


Parade lineup will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial. The parade will proceed to Walnut Cemetery, where Walnut American Legion Post 179 will conduct a ceremony at 11 a.m., rain or shine.


Cumberland Cemetery Association will hold Memorial Day services at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the cemetery, located in rural Magnolia-Wenona.


VFW Post 6634 will conduct services at 10 a.m. Monday at Forest Hill Cemetery.

Editor’s note: If you don’t see a Memorial Day observance from your town listed here, we’ll be glad to add it. Email to have your community added to the list of observances.