Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of the travel season in America when many of us take to the road for vacations and weekend trips. Whether your Memorial Day trip is across the country or just across town, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will arrive safe and sound if you practice the following safety tips:
▪ Plan your trip so that you have plenty of time to reach your destination.
▪ Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as, speeding, tailgating, failing to yield the right-of-way, and following too closely.
▪ Drive defensively.
▪ Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. Check tire pressures and tread, clean all lights, check brakes and battery.
▪ Use seat belts each and every time you are in a vehicle. Buckling up can substantially reduce the severity of injuries in nonfatal crashes.
▪ Always secure children in child car seats in the back seat.
▪ Allow someone else to drive when taking medications or when you are drowsy.
Don’t let drinking and driving turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy. Even moderate consumption of wine or beer impairs your ability to make proper decisions on the road.
Memorial Day services
O’Fallon’s Memorial Day programs will be held at 9 a.m. at the City of O’Fallon Cemetery, located on North Oak Street. VFW Post 805 is organizing and sponsoring the program that includes a flag presentation, a speech by Phil Goodwin, and a three-volley rifle salute. In addition to the morning ceremonies, the Sergeant Charles A. Fricke gravesite memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at the Mount Carmel Cemetery. For further information, please contact VFW Post 805 at 618-624-6575.
The second program will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the city of O’Fallon Veterans Monument, 737 East Wesley Drive. The guest speaker for the event will be Brig. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins, USAF director of logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, HQ AMC. Participants include the O’Fallon District 90 fifth-grade music program, St. Clare School and First Baptist Academy Choruses; OTHS AFJ ROTC; VFW Post 805; Miss O’Fallon Madeleine Henken; Miss Kat Rubish; the USAF Honor Guard Rifle Team, among many others. The names of 16 newly inscribed veterans will be introduced during the ceremony. For more information, visit the monument website at ofallonveteransmonument.org.
Veterans are encouraged to wear their medals and decorations to the events. Residents who plan to attend the programs are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and water bottles.
In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also used as a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. The Coca-Cola 600 has been held later the same day since 1961.
If you aren’t able to attend one of O’Fallon’s ceremonies, I encourage you to pause for a moment of silence sometime on Monday, May 29 to show respect for those who have gone before us.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open!