ANTIOCH – Antioch American Legion Post 748 and Antioch VFW Post 4551 will host three community outreach events for Armed Forces week.
At 9 a.m. May 25, members of the Antioch American Legion and VFW and Antioch Scouts will place 583 flags on all veterans’ headstones in five Antioch area cemeteries. The Lakes Region Historical Society has led the effort to maintain locations of all veterans in Antioch cemeteries.
On May 26, members of the Antioch American Legion and VFW will be conducting their annual Poppy Day in Antioch in support of the American Legion National Poppy Day. The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. The Legion has partnered with several Antioch businesses to distribute poppies in return for donations to support veterans of the Antioch American Legion.
At 9 a.m. May 29, members of the American Legion and VFW, with support from the village of Antioch, Antioch Township, Antioch Chamber of Commerce, Lakes Regional Historical Society and several Antioch businesses, clubs and organizations, will conduct the third annual Antioch Memorial Day Ceremony at Hillside Cemetery in Antioch. The ceremony will be conducted at the Antioch VFW, 75 North Avenue, Antioch, if there is inclement weather.
The Antioch community honors all of its veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day. What makes these ceremonies unique is one Antioch veteran from the nation’s wars is honored at each ceremony. In 2021, Antioch honored Capt. Leverett H. Barnes from the War of 1812. In 2022, brothers Cpl. Allen D. Hanke and Private 1st Class Leslie A. Hanke were honored as well as descendants of their family.
On Memorial Day, World War I veteran and lifelong Antioch resident Sgt. James Leland Waters and several of his living descendants will be VIPs for the ceremony. Waters moved to Antioch between 1910 and 1914 and was employed by Williams Brothers Co. in Antioch before entering the Army in July 1917. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in battle, the nation’s second-highest award (the Medal of Honor is the highest award). Waters was discharged in June 1919 and returned home to Antioch, where he got married, raised a family, worked several jobs and was a leader in the community. He was buried with military honors at Hillside Cemetery.
Members of the Illinois Patriot Guard with local police support will escort several members of the Waters family from their residence in Lake Villa to Antioch Hillside Cemetery on Memorial Day.
Everyone is invited to attend the ceremony.
The Antioch American Legion was part of Antioch Community High School’s Honors Night on May 17. The Legion awarded two $500 scholarships to two deserving students who will use the funds to support their college education.