Metro-East Living

Memorial Day ceremonies around the metro-east

Veterans raised flags at a previous Belleville Memorial Day ceremony at Walnut Hill cemetery.
Veterans raised flags at a previous Belleville Memorial Day ceremony at Walnut Hill cemetery.

The Memorial Day Association of Belleville will present its 55th parade and memorial ceremony on Monday.

The association was formed on July 19, 1960, to remember those who have served their country and are deceased. It’s made up of the Korean War Veterans Imjin Chapter, Catholic War Veterans Butz-Jobe Post 370, American Legion George E. Hilgard Post 58 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1739.

The parade steps off at 10 a.m. at Second and West Main streets, travels east on Main past the Veterans Memorial to Mascoutah Avenue, then south on Mascoutah to Walnut Hill cemetery.

The parade marshal and speaker will be U.S. Army Col. Michael J. Benjamin, staff judge advocate, U.S. Transportation Command at Scott AFB.

Groups from all eras of the country’s history, as well as youth, churches and local businesses will be among the 45 units in the parade. The Belleville West Marching Maroons will be the lead parade band and will provide patriotic music for the Memorial Service, which follows the parade about 11 a.m. at Walnut Hill Cemetery.

The service will include the playing of the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, remarks by Col. Benjamin, recognition of deceased veterans and the placing of flags on a wreath, and Taps. The new monument honoring 15 Belleville-area men who were killed in the Vienam War will be dedicated.

O’FALLON: The City of O’Fallon’s Veterans Day Ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Monument, 737 East Wesley Drive. Air Force Brig. Gen. Randall Reed, deputy director, strategic plans, HQ, AMC, will be the speaker. Also participating in the program are: First Baptist Church Adult Choir; O’Fallon Township High School Air Force Junior ROTC; VFW Post 805; Lauren Lundy, St. Louis Opera Theatre; retired Air Force SMSgt. Craig Bedard; and the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Rifle Team. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, 1111 E. U.S. 50.

SPARTA: Memorial Day services are at 10 a.m. Monday at Caledonia Cemetery in Sparta. The service will include: the national anthem sung by Monty Jackson; flag raising; Pledge of Allegiance; a musical salute to the armed forces; a floral tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; a volley by a gun squad; the Veterans of Foreign Wars Color Guard; the playing of Taps and Echo. The speaker is Judge Jo Beth Weber, resident circuit judge of Jefferson County and a candidate for 5th District Appellate Court Judge. A potluck dinner will be served at noon for all veterans and their families. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held in American Legion Post 396.

MOUNT CARMEL CEMETERY: A Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Monday at the outdoor altar in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 10101 West Main St. in Belleville. In case of rain, the Mass will be in Peace Chapel.

HECKER: Speakers, patriotic music and a flyover will highlight Memorial Day Ceremonies at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Augustine’s Cemetery in Hecker. Local veterans and other dignitaries will be recognized. In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved inside the Hecker Community Center.

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS: A Memorial Day Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday outdoors at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fairview Heights.

SCOTT AFB: Scott VFW Post 4183 will conduct a Memorial Day program at 9 a.m. Monday at 1516 Old Highway 158 near Belleville. Brig. Gen. Christopher J. Knapp will speak. A reception will follow.

WATERLOO: Waterloo will hold its Memorial Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday on the Courthouse Square.

ALTON: You can celebrate Memorial Day by attending the oldest consecutive running parade in the nation. The first was in 1868, just three years after the end of the Civil War. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. Monday from Washington and College avenues in Alton.