Memorial Day 2018: List of area ceremonies and services

Memorial Day 2018: List of area ceremonies and services

Memorial Day 2018 weekend events throughout the area:



American Legion Post 287, VFW Post 6750 and the Knights of Columbus Council 4450 will place flags for fallen comrades at the Maplewood, Elmwood and Holy Sepulchre cemeteries.

Lincoln's Challenge

Memorial Day weekend services at Lincoln's Challenge Academy, 301 Dodge Ave., Rantoul, will be held at 4 p.m. in the LC gymnasium. The ceremony will also include a laying-of-the-wreath ceremony outside at the academy's memorial monument. The Rev. Terry Cooper of Full Gospel Church, Paxton, will be the keynote speaker. The services are open to the public.



Celebration includes a rededication ceremony for the veterans memorial marker at 1 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery, northwest of Indianola. Program starts with The Patriot Guard Riders of Region 4 riding through the cemetery. Attendants are asked to arrive by 12:45 in order to have time to park before the Riders arrive at 1. The Riders also provide flags for each service branch, as well as a MIA/POW flag. Speaker will be John Pigg of Danville, a Patriot Guard Rider and American Legion Rider. Catlin American Legion Post will present colors and give the gun salute. Harold Puzey, a Navy veteran, will play taps, and the Hunter and DeAth children will lead the pledge.Opening and closing prayers will be given by Albert Riggle of the Sidell American Legion and David Almy of Indianola Methodist Church. After the ceremony, Linda Rosnett, Woodlawn's secretary-treasurer will give a historical tour of the cemetery for those interested.


Prairie Post No. 150 of the American Legion in Paxton is requesting volunteers to assist in placing flags on the graves of veterans buried at Glen Cemetery, Paxton. Volunteers will meet in the cemetery's gazebo at 9 a.m. Flags and instructions will be provided. The Legion post is also requesting assistance with removing the flags at 5 p.m. Monday. Questions can be directed to Frank Crego at 217-249-3667 or


Beckman Cemetery

Beckman Cemetery Association will host its annual service at 11:45 a.m. at the cemetery, 2649 County Road 1900 East, Rantoul Township. The Rev. Lynn Podoll will be the guest speaker. Everyone is welcome.


Albert Parker American Legion Post 620, Bement, will hold services at noon at Hammond Cemetery, Hammond; 12:30 p.m. at Bement Township Cemetery, Bement; 1 p.m. at St. Joseph Cemetery, Ivesdale; and 1:30 p.m. at St. Boniface Cemetery, rural Ivesdale. The public is invited.

Penfield-Gifford area

Memorial weekend ceremonies conducted by American Legion Post 1153 and its Auxiliary Unit 1153 of Penfield and Gifford will be at 12:30 p.m. at Penfield Veterans Memorial, on I&I Property, Penfield; 1 p.m. at Wells Cemetery, Penfield; and 1:30 p.m. at Huls Cemetery, Gifford.



Atwood American Legion Post 770 will host a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at Mackville Cemetery. There will be a speaker and reading of the veterans' roster for the Mackville and Lake Fort Cemeteries.


The American Legion Byron A. Hickerson Post 432 of Buckley will hold services at three area cemeteries: a short service at 9:30 a.m. at Lisk Cemetery, rural Thawville; and a service honoring the area's deceased veterans, with speaker, Larry Eyre, commander of Legion Post 432, at 10:30 a.m. at Woodland/St. John's Cemetery. Immediately following the 10:30 services, the American Legion Auxiliary of Buckley will serve refreshments at the Legion post, 313 S. Walnut St., Buckley. In case of rain, services will also be held at the Legion post. More than 130 flags will be put up on 20-foot poles at the Woodland/St. John's Cemetery.


Champaign VFW Post 5520 will conduct a 9 a.m. ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery. Guest speaker will be Adam Yau, incoming commander. The service will include a 21-gun salute, followed by taps.

— AMVETS Post 3 will have a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at Grandview Memorial Gardens located on U.S. 150 west of Champaign. Illiana Health Care System Public Affairs Officer Todd Oliver will be the guest speaker, the Richard L. Pittman Marine Corps League Detachment 1231 will present the colors, a 21-gun salute will be fired by the Champaign Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5520, followed by the playing of taps, and the Champaign-Urbana Sweet Adelines will perform the national anthem and other selections.

— The annual Memorial Day program of American Legion Post 24, Champaign, will be at 2 p.m. at Mount Hope Mausoleum in Mount Hope Cemetery, 611 E. Pennsylvania Ave., C. The program will include a guest speaker, Col. Eric L. Ashworth, a member of American Legion Post 1492, Savoy, a presentation of memorial wreaths and a rifle salute and taps by the Post 24 color guard. Marty Zvonar, past 19th District commander and past commander of Post 24, will give the Gettysburg Address, and Harl "Butch" Ray of Springfield will give a reading of General Logan's Order. Post 24 decorates the veterans' graves at Mount Hope, Roselawn, and Bethlehem Lutheran Cemeteries.


Cisco American Legion Post 1181 and the Boy Scouts will be holding services at 11 a.m. at Croninger Cemetery, Cisco, and after that service is completed, they will travel to Friends Creek Cemetery in Argenta for a ceremony that will start about 11:30 a.m. After both services have been completed, there will be a potluck meal at the Cisco Legion Hall.

Cissna Park

Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 will hold services at 9 a.m. at the village park. Speaker will be the Rev. Silas Montgomery of Christian Bible Church, Cissna Park. The service will include an appearance by the Legion's drill team. Taps will be played, and a "salute to the dead" will be held. After the service, the American Legion Auxiliary will serve coffee and donuts at the Legion home.


Ceremony conducted by VFW Jewell Whyte Post 728 will be at 9 a.m. at the World War I Memorial, followed by a salute to Jewell Whyte at Springhill Cemetery. Vermilion Joint Veterans Council will sponsor a program at Danville National Cemetery, 1900 E. Main St., beginning with a parade at 10:45 a.m., led by the World War II and Korean War veterans.


Services will be observed at 11 a.m. at Goose Creek Township Cemetery in DeLand. In case of rain, services will be moved to the DeLand Legion Post 102. After the services, lunch will be served at noon by the DeLand Sons of the American Legion. The menu will include fish, cheesy potatoes, green beans, bread and butter and dessert. There is a charge for the meal, with prices discounted for those 10 years old and under.


American Legion Post 203 of Georgetown will present the flag at Georgetown Cemetery. The ceremony at 11 a.m. will open with the Star Spangled Banner, sung by Lexi Ovall. A welcome speech and prayer will be by the Rev. Blue. The flag will be raised to start the day. Bethel Baptist Choir will perform a number of patriotic songs. The Legion Auxiliary will present its bouquet at the foot of the monument. The trumpeters will be Jeremy Neal in the lead, and his wife, Elizabeth as echo. The Post Honor Guard rifles and trumpet will end the ceremony. Following the service, free barbecue sandwiches and chips will be provided at the Post Club Room.

Gibson City/Elliott

Gibson City's Memorial Day parade kicks off at 10 a.m. in front of the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district's unit office building on Sangamon Avenue. Parade entries will begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. The parade members will then make their way south on Sangamon Avenue and continue to Drummer Township Cemetery for special memorial services about 10:30 a.m. at Drummer Creek Veterans Memorial, Gibson City. State Rep. Tom Bennett of Gibson City will speak, and music will be by the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School band and Steve Anderson, commander of the local Legion post. The color guard will also be present. Following the ceremonies in Gibson City, the Legion will travel to Elliott Cemetery for memorial services there, likely to begin about 11:30 or 11:45 a.m. In case of inclement weather, the services will be held at the Legion post in Gibson City.


Homer American Legion Post 290 will have a ceremony at 11 a.m. at G.A.R. Cemetery. Following the program, the Homer American Legion Auxiliary's annual Memorial Day smorgasbord event including chicken and noodles, ham, desserts and more will be held at the Jack Ellis Community Center in the Homer Village Hall. A free-will offering (donations of your choice) for the meal.


Hoopeston American Legion Post 384 will host a program at 10:30 a.m. at Floral Hill Cemetery, Hoopeston. In case of bad weather, listen to WHPO for location change to Civic Center in McFerren Park. The program features American Legion Color Guard, music by the high school band and chorus, and a community choir, and Pastor Adam Taubert of First Baptist Church, Hoopeston. Keynote speaker will be Vermilion County State's Attorney Jacqueline Lacy. Free food for all following the service at Hoopeston VFW Post 4826, 428 W. Orange St.


Loda American Legion Post 503 is hosting a ceremony at 9 a.m. at Pine Ridge Cemetery near Loda's north edge. A dedication of deceased veterans will be held, and the Post 503 color guard will be present. Guest speaker will be the Rev. Rachel Stockle of Loda United Methodist Church. The honor roll will be read of departed members of the military who were either buried at the cemetery or elsewhere but are from Loda Township. They will be listed by the wars they fought in. The oldest person on the list was a veteran of the War of 1812.


A service will be held at 10 a.m. at Melvin Cemetery, Melvin. There will be special music by the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School chamber choir, with taps played. Refreshments will be served at Melvin Community Hall on Main Street after the service. In the event of rain, the service will be held in the Melvin Community Hall.


Services in Monticello will be held at 10 a.m. at the Monticello Township Cemetery.


Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 will hold its annual observance at 11 a.m. at Glen Cemetery, Paxton. Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School's marching band will give a musical tribute. PBL High School band director Tim Hess, a former Marine, will be the speaker. The ceremony immediately follows the parade. The parade starts at 10 a.m. leaving PBL Eastlawn School, 341 E. Center St., and heading toward the cemetery. The parade will be led by the American Legion color guard and will include the PBL marching band. Individuals and organizations are invited to participate and are asked to line up at the school no later than 9:30 a.m.

Penfield-Gifford area

American Legion Post 1153 and its Auxiliary Unit 1153 of Penfield and Gifford will conduct ceremonies at St. Lawrence Cemetery, south of Penfield, immediately following the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Lawrence Catholic Church; and a second service at noon at veterans memorial at Werner-Roessler Park, Gifford.


Philo American Legion Post 1171 will conduct services at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Cemetery, east of Pesotum; 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Cemetery, Bongard; 10:30 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery, 1 mile east of Philo; and 11 a.m. at Locust Grove Cemetery, Philo. Veterans' graves will be marked with flags, names will be read, a 21-gun salute will be fired and taps will be played at each cemetery. There will be a guest speaker at the 11 a.m. ceremony.

Piper City

Piper City American Legion post is conducting a service at 9 a.m. on the bandstand on Peoria Street in downtown Piper City. The speaker will be Pam Bork of the Gov. Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Immediately after the service, additional services will be held by the post at Calvary Catholic Cemetery and Brenton Cemetery in rural Piper City. At each cemetery, a 21-gun salute to deceased veterans will be done.


The Cissna Park American Legion's drill team will hold a service at 10 a.m. at Rankin Cemetery.


VFW Post 6750 and American Legion Post 287 honor guard and the Knights of Columbus Council 4450 council members will have ceremonies at 9 a.m. at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, rural Rantoul; at 10 a.m. at Ludlow Cemetery; and at 11 a.m. at Maplewood Cemetery on U.S. 45 north of Rantoul.

Paul Haines will be in charge of the service. The Rantoul Township High School band will be part of the service.

A short lunch will follow at the American Legion post at noon. In case of rain, the Maplewood service will also be at the Legion building.


The Wagner-Davis American Legion Post in Roberts will hold a service at 9 a.m. at the Roberts Gym. Coffee and rolls will be served afterward by the Legion post's auxiliary.


American Legion Post 1492 will have a wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Savoy Veterans Memorial located in front of the Robert C. McCleary Municipal Center, 611 N. Dunlap. There will be several guest speakers including Cmdr. Bo Henry and Chaplain Bud VanDiver, Diane Ducey will emcee, and Scout Troup 13 will post colors and perform taps. Ceremony will be followed by cake.


Saybrook American Legion Post No. 427 will conduct services at 10:30 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery, followed by services at Cheney's Grove Township Cemetery.


Martin H. Suntken American Legion Post 244 of Sibley will hold services at 11 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery, Sibley. The service will feature music by the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School chorus as well as the Martin H. Suntken American Legion unit's color guard. The service will be led by the Rev. Jim Davis.


Sidney American Legion Post 433 will conduct a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery, Sidney. Minister Barry West of the Sidney Christian Church will be guest speaker, and a 21-gun salute will be fired followed by the playing of tps.


The Thawville American Legion post will host a service about 11:30 a.m. at Ridgeland Township Cemetery, about a mile east of Thawville. The service will include music by the Iroquois West High School band, a gun salute and a speaker, Roger Bennett, commander of the Thawville Legion and a past state commander. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held at the Legion post on Main Street in Thawville.


— American Legion Post 71, Urbana, will conduct services at 11 a.m. at Eastlawn Cemetery, 802 N. Cunningham Ave., U. Rob Bross, Sons of American Legion adjutant, will be the guest speaker. American Legion Post 71 decorates the veterans' graves at Eastlawn Cemetery with an American flag.

— VFW Post 630's service begins at 11:45 a.m. Monday with the raising of the American flag and a 3 p.m. moment of silence for the National Moment of Remembrance. Both events will take place in front of the post home, 1303 E. Main St., U.

— American Legion Post 559, Champaign, will hold its annual service at 11:45 a.m. at Lincoln Memorial Gardens, 1803 N. Coler Ave., U. The main entrance to the cemetery is off Lincoln Avenue. Ceremony will include the posting of the colors by Post 559 Color Guard, a 21-gun salute by the Urbana American Legion Post 71 Firing Squad, the playing of taps by Nathaniel Banks and guest speaker, Comrade Will Kyles, Champaign City Council/Champaign County Black Chamber of Commerce. Legion Post 559 and Post 71 will also conduct a service at 3 p.m. at the memorial at Main and Broadway, downtown Urbana. Cheryl Walker, incoming 19th District commander, will be the speaker.


Westville American Legion Post 51 will have a service at 11 a.m. at Zamberletti Park. There will be a meal at the Legion Hall afterward.


Ridge Farm

The Crown Hill Cemetery board and the Ridge Farm Masonic Lodge are hosting a service on May 30 (the original Memorial Day) at 11 a.m. in the cemetery. The service will feature a large display of 3x5 American flags, the firing of a real cannon, and the American Legion and Patriot Guard Riders. The color guard will be provided by the Chrisman American Legion Post 477. The national anthem will be performed by Lisa Hackler. Taps will be performed by Harold Puzey. The chaplain for the ceremony will be the Rev. James Blue of Olivet Nazarene Church. Retired First Sgt. Rick Jenness, a member of Post 477, will speak. The laying of the wreaths will be performed by World War II veterans.

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