Kane County veterans are invited to take an Oct. 2 bus tour of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL.
The newest Illinois national cemetery is the second largest in the nation and is the closest national cemetery to Kane County. Local veterans and their spouses who meet the National Cemetery Administration’s qualifications are eligible for burial there.
The St. Charles Veterans Organizations, in partnership with Vitas Healthcare, are providing the bus tour, which will depart at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, from the St. Charles Veterans Center at 311 North 2nd Street, St. Charles, and return will be around 3 p.m. All veterans are invited and may bring one family member to accompany them. Lunch will be brown bag or bring-your-own with soft drinks and water provided.
Seating is limited and RSVP is required. RSVP to 630-818-0885 or andrew.balafas@Vitas.com.
The national cemetery is open to the public during daylight hours and the office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information on Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery or to see the eligibility criteria please visit www.cem.va.gov/cems/
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Historical Information
The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery lies in the northwestern area of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, approximately 50 miles south of Chicago. Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is named after the 16th President of the United States and founder of the National Cemeteries.
In the midst of the Civil War, on July 17, 1862, President Lincoln’s signature enacted the law authorizing the establishment of national cemeteries “… for the soldiers who die in the service of the country.” During the Civil War there were 14 national cemeteries opened pursuant of this legislation.
Lincoln’s legacy is especially important to the people of Illinois, where he worked and lived. Lincoln is remembered for his successful law practice and elected service as a resident of Illinois. He served as an Illinois State Assemblyman and an Illinois Representative during the 13th Congress, prior to his election as 16th President of the United States. He is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery near the State Capital in Springfield, Illinois, where many additional sites of historical interest are located.
Congressman George E. Sangmeister, a veteran of the Korean War, served as a representative and senator in the state of Illinois, 1973-87, and a U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1988-95. He was instrumental in the acquisition of 982 acres from the former Joliet Arsenal and its redevelopment as Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
Monument and Memorials
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery has a memorial walk that commemorates soldiers of 20th century wars on 11 memorials.
An 18-foot granite obelisk crowned by a bronze eagle with outstretched wings commemorates the 2,403 Americans who died in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. It was donated by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and dedicated May 12, 2001.
The Blue Star Memorial Marker was donated by the District VIII Garden Club of Illinois and dedicated on September 15, 2000. The marker is a tribute to American men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve their country. Its symbolism dates to World War II when families of servicemen and women displayed a square flag decorated with a blue star in their windows to signify that a loved one was in the armed forces.