Memorial Day 2015 is coming up in Kane County, and there are many opportunities to take part in the day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.
The 2015 event is celebrated Monday, May 25.
Traditionally, Kane County holds a Memorial Day ceremony at the Kane County Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor, which pays tribute to men and women from Kane County who have died while on Active Duty during a time of war. In 2014, two names were added to the Wall of Honor,: those of Aurorans Rachel Carey and William Holstine.
Jake Zimmerman, superintendent of the Veterans Assistance Commission, said no ceremony is scheduled at the Government Center for Memorial Day 2015.
“Thankfully and with gratitude, no names will be added to the list this year,” he said.
There are, however, many Memorial Day events taking place in communities throughout Kane County, and for your convenience, we’ve done our best to gather information on parades and ceremonies. This list is by no means perfect, and we invite anyone with additional information on Memorial Day events to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALGONQUIN — Algonquin Memorial Day Parade: 10 a.m. Monday, May 25. The American Legion Post 1231 parade begins near the veterans’ monument at the Algonquin Cemetery, proceeds south down North Main Street to Front Street, and then ends at Riverfront Park.
AURORA — Aurora Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony: 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 25. Starts outside the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place, Aurora. Parade at noon proceeds east on Benton, north on Broadway, west on Downer Place, ending on River Street. Free. Additional parking details are available at www.aurora-il.org. The ceremony and parade will be recorded and televised on ACTV throughout the month of June. It will also be archived on the City of Aurora‘s YouTube channel.
BARRINGTON — Barrington Memorial Day parade and ceremony: 10 a.m. Monday, May 25. Parade starts at Cook and Main streets and proceeds to Evergreen Cemetery for a short service to commemorate U.S. men and women who died in military service.
BARTLETT — Bartlett Memorial Day Walk and Remembrance: 10 a.m. to noon Monday, May 25. Starts with the American Legion flag retirement ceremony at Bartlett Park, Oak and North avenues. At 11 a.m., veterans, scouts, bagpipers and other civic groups step off for a walk to Bartlett cemetery for a ceremony.
BATAVIA — A Memorial Day Ceremony will be conducted at 10 a.m. the Batavia VFW, 645 S. River St., Batavia.
BIG ROCK — Could not find information online.
CARPENTERSVILLE — Could not find information online.
EAST DUNDEE — Dundee Memorial Day Parade: 2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, starting at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Van Buren and Route 72, East Dundee, and heading west on Main Street, and ending with a short ceremony at Grafelman Park in West Dundee. The annual Memorial Day Parade and Program is organized by the Tri-Cities VFW Post 2298 in West Dundee
ELBURN — Elburn Memorial Day ceremony: 10 a.m. Monday, May 25, at Blackberry Township cemetery, Route 47 and Keslinger Road, Elburn. The Elburn American Legion Post 630 Color Guard will depart from Lions Park at 10 a.m. and march to the cemetery. Elburn Boy Scout Troop 7’s fundraising pancake breakfast runs from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at the American Legion, 112 N. Main St., Elburn.
ELGIN — Elgin Memorial Day services: Starts with a service at Mount Hope Cemetery, 1001 Villa St., Elgin, at 8:45 a.m. Monday, May 25. The 9:15 a.m. service at Lakewood Memorial Park, 30W730 Route 20, will be followed by a ceremony at Elgin Veterans Memorial Park, 270 N. Grove, at 9:45 a.m. At 11 a.m., a program at Bluff City Cemetery, 945 Bluff City Blvd., will pay tribute to women who served as nurses in the military and include a keynote address by Lorraine Darr, former U.S. Air Force nurse in Vietnam.
FOX RIVER GROVE — Fox River Grove Memorial Day parade: 8 a.m. Monday, May 25. Parade starts at Algonquin Road School and continues down Algonquin Road to South River Road. The parade, hosted by the American Legion Frank H. Nagel Jr. Post 119, ends at Lions Park, 747 S. River Road, with a ceremony.
GENEVA — This schedule is not confirmed via website link, but traditionally the day starts with a 6:10 a.m. salute to the fallen at Oak Hill Cemetery, then the parade at 10 a.m. Monday, which starts at Crescent Place and South Third Street and goes to the West Side Cemetery for ceremonies. The 62nd annual Methodist Church Pancake Breakfast runs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
HAMPSHIRE / BURLINGTON — Could not find information online. Unofficial report is that there’s a parade and ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
HUNTLEY — Huntley Memorial Day Parade: 11 a.m. Monday, May 25. Starts at the municipal complex, 10987 Main St., and heads west on Main Street to Woodstock Street and turns right (north) for a ceremony at Huntley American Legion Post 673. There will be speakers and a presentation honoring veterans.
MAPLE PARK — Maple Park Memorial Day services: 9 a.m. to noon Monday, May 25, at six Maple Park cemeteries. Services will start at 9 a.m. and follow at 15-minute intervals. From 11 a.m. to noon, a short service will be held at the post home, 203 Main St., Maple Park.
SOUTH ELGIN — South Elgin Memorial Day Service: 10 a.m. Monday, May 25, at Panton Mill Park, 10 N. Water St., South Elgin. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the municipal annex.
ST. CHARLES — St. Charles Memorial Day Parade: 10 a.m. Monday, May 25, starting at Sixth and Main streets and continuing to Riverside Avenue, ending at Freedom Shrine (along the Fox River north of the police department) where there will be a ceremony.
SUGAR GROVE — Could not find information online.
WEST DUNDEE — West Dundee Memorial Day Cemetery Service: 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 25, at River Valley Memorial Gardens, off Route 31, just north of I-90, West Dundee. Tri-city Evergreen Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2298 and Auxiliary will participate in the half-hour service, which will honor 1,050 veterans buried at River Valley Memorial Gardens.
About the Kane County Veterans Memorial
The Kane County Veterans Memorial was conceived in 1997 to honor the men and women of this nation and the Kane County “citizen soldiers” who served in the United States Armed Forces. The Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2004.
The mission of the Kane County Veterans Memorial is to recognize their dedication in protecting this free nation from the Spanish/American War through the current conflicts. The Wall of Honor is the repository for all the names of the Kane County War dead. The Veterans Memorial is for remembrance, solitude, and reflection on sacrifices made by Kane County’s citizen soldiers.
This Veterans Memorial is a solemn reminder to and for the citizens of Kane County, that we the people remember and cherish the legacy of freedom, justice, democracy, and peace which Kane County veterans have defended.
The Wall of Honor now is inscribed with the names of 856 men and women from Kane County who have died while on Active Duty during a time of war.
History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.
Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.
“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).
It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
Memorial Day Events 2015
Compiled by Kane County Veterans Assistance Commission