‘I just wanted to find him and see him’

Ahead of this weekend’s Memorial Day ceremonies at Danville National Cemetery, Frances Walker paid a visit to her brother’s grave Tuesday. It was the first time since Rickey Ford’s death in October that Walker had visited the sprawling tribute to veterans along Main Street. ‘I just wanted to find him and see him,’ said Walker, a Danville native. ‘He was a good brother, always looking out for his sisters and his family.” From 9-11 a.m. Saturday, volunteers will plant American flags in front of headstones (story coming in Friday’s News-Gazette).

A lineup of Memorial Day weekend services throughout the area (email additions to news-gazette.com)

Sunday, May 28

  • Noon: Hammond
  • 12:30 p.m.: Penfield Veterans Memorial, I&I grounds.
  • 1 p.m.: Wells Cemetery, Penfield; Ivesdale; North Cemetery, Mansfield.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Boniface; Huls Cemetery, Gifford; South Cemetery, Mansfield.

Monday, May 29

  • 8:30-11 a.m.: Richie Cemetery, Argenta; then Cross Cemetery, Oakley; Peck Cemetery, Argenta; West Frantz Cemetery, Oakley; East Frantz Cemetery, Cerro Gordo; LaPlace Cemetery, LaPlace, and Cerro Gordo, with potluck lunch 11 a.m. at Cerro Gordo American Legion post.
  • 9 a.m.: Woodlawn Cemetery, Urbana, guest speaker VFW Post 550 Cmdr. Adam Yau; Pine Ridge Cemetery, Loda.
  • 9:30 a.m.: Lisk Cemetery, rural Thawville, then Woodland/St. John’s Cemetery, Buckley, with the Rev. Kevin Wycoff as speaker, followed by refreshments at Buckley American Legion post.
  • 9:30 a.m.: Philo Veterans Monument, downtown Philo.
  • 10 a.m.: Gibson City Memorial Day parade in front of GCMS school unit office, followed by service at Drummer Township Cemetery. Sgt. Major Mike Freed of Illinois Army National Guard will be the featured speaker.
  • 10-10:45 a.m.: Mass at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Penfield, followed by service at church cemetery, south of Penfield.
  • 10-11 a.m.: Parade at former site of PBL Eastlawn School, 341 E. Center St., Paxton, proceeding to Glen Cemetery for 11 a.m. service. Former Marine Tim Hess, director of the PBL High School marching band, will be the featured speaker.
  • 10 a.m.: Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Bongard; Soldiers Circle at Monticello Cemetery; Melvin Cemetery; Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, with guest speaker the Rev. Lee Jenkins.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Grandview Memorial Gardens, rural Champaign, with Army veteran Richard Barnett as keynote speaker; Mackville Cemetery, Atwood, with Danny Powell as keynote speaker.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Calvary Cemetery, 1 mile east of Philo.
  • 11 a.m.: Danville National Cemetery; DeLand Cemetery; GAR Cemetery, Homer, followed by a smorgasbord (free-will donation) at Jack Ellis Community Center; Locust Grove Cemetery, Philo; Maplewood Cemetery, Rantoul.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Elliott Cemetery.
  • 11:45 a.m.: Flag-raising, 3 p.m. moment of silence, both at VFW Post 630, 1303 E. Main St., U.
  • 11:45 a.m.: Lincoln Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 1803 N. Coler Ave., U. Champaign police Chief Timothy Tyler will be the guest speaker.
  • Noon: Veterans memorial, Werner Roessler Memorial Park, Gifford.
  • 2 p.m.: Mount Hope Mausoleum, Mount Hope Cemetery, Champaign.
  • 3 p.m.: Champaign County Veterans Memorial, Champaign County Courthouse, Urbana.

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at dhinton@news-gazette.com.