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Memorial Day observances in the Sauk Valley

Area Memorial Day observances and events include:

In Lee County

Dixon: Observances start at 9:15, when a wreath will be dropped into the Rock River from the Riverfront to honor those lost at sea. At 10 a.m., a parade will go from River Road toward Peoria Avenue, then south to Second Street and on Dement Avenue to Oakwood Cemetery, where there will be speakers and a short ceremony.

In addition, members of Dixon American Legion Post 12 have set up crosses on the old Lee County Courthouse lawn as a tribute to WWI veterans buried at Flanders Fields in Belgium.

Call 815-284-7269 for more information.

Amboy/Sublette:  Observances will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday at Prairie Repose Cemetery on Rockyford Road, with the Rev. Charles Jeanblanc speaking, followed by a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at Wood Side Cemetery on Green Wing Road, with the Rev. Jack Briggs speaking.

Monday’s services start at 10 a.m. at Amboy Veterans Park, at East and Division streets, or, if it rains, at Amboy High School. State Sen. Tim Bivins will speak. There will be a service at 11 a.m. at Sublette Community Building, at West and Main streets, where the Rev. Charles Yeakel, pastor of United Pentecost Church in Mendota, will speak. Events will wrap up with a service at noon at Woodhaven Lakes Campground, 507 LaMoille Road in Sublette. Call 815-857-3564 or 815-849-5219 for more information.

Ashton: The Ashton American Legion ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the Mills and Petrie Building, 704 N. First St. Lt. Cmdr. Billie J. Bryant will be the guest speaker. A parade will go to Ashton Cemetery, where there will be a firing squad. Call Andrew Kida, 815-761-4240, for more information.

Franklin Grove: Altenberg Post 497 will assemble at 1 p.m. at the Legion hall, 139 N. Elm St., where a parade will step off at 1:30 p.m. Flowers will be placed at the veterans war memorial, before the parade proceeds down Middle Street on to State Street to the Franklin Grove Cemetery, where a ceremony will be held that includes a firing squad and taps.

In Ogle County

Oregon: Oregon VFW Post 8739’s Memorial Day observance begins at 9:45 a.m. with wreaths placed at the memorials on the Ogle County Courthouse lawn downtown.

At 10 a.m., combined units consisting of the Oregon VFW Post 8739 Color Guard, American Legion, Oregon High School Band, and Scouts will march from the courthouse square to Riverside Cemetery for a service starting at about 10:15 a.m. Post Cmdr. Jerry Frana will speak.

Mount Morris: American Legion Post 143’s observance begins at 10 a.m. at the band shell at the corner of Wesley Avenue and Main Street, one block south of state Route 64. Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient Doug Wean will speak. “In Flanders Fields” and the Gettysburg Address will be read, vocal solos will be performed, and the Mount Morris Fire Protection District Color Guard will present the colors. 

The program will continue at Veterans Memorial Fountain with the reading of the names of the village’s deceased veterans, and the placement of wreaths on the fountain. The program will conclude with a firing squad, taps and prayer.

A free potluck then will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the Mount Morris Moose Lodge, 101 Moose Drive. Meat will be provided; the public is asked to bring a dish to pass.

Polo: The Polo American Legion’s annual Memorial Day parade will assemble near Dad’s Bar & Grill, 124 E. Mason St., and step off at 9:30 a.m. It will head west on Mason to Division Avenue, then north to Fairmount Cemetery, where a service will be held.

Call 815-946-2814 for more information.

In Whiteside County

Sterling/Rock Falls: Sterling and Rock Falls American Legions, along with other area military organizations, will begin Memorial Day observances with a ceremony from 9 to 9:30 a.m. at the lower dam. A wreath will be dropped into the Rock River.

Enter at the west side of the limestone building off of West First Street. Coffee and doughnuts will be served after the ceremony at the Rock Falls VFW, 217 First Ave.

A second ceremony will take place from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at Odd Fellows Cemetery on Emmons Avenue in Rock Falls, followed by soup and sandwiches at the Rock Falls American Legion Post, 712 Fourth Ave. Call 815-625-9058 or 815-625-1900 for more information.

Morrison: Members of the armed services will gather at 10 a.m. at Bartlett and East Main streets, and at 10:30 a.m. will travel to Genesee Street, turn north and proceed to Grove Hill Cemetery on High Street, where a ceremony will be held. Call Jim Prombo with American Legion Post 328 at 815-519-8380 for more information.

Prophetstown and Lyndon:  American Legion Post 522 members will have a ceremony at 9 a.m. at Lyndon Cemetery, on state Route 78/Moline Road. At 10 a.m., post members will meet at the veterans memorial at Eclipse Square on Washington Street in Prophetstown.

Erie: The village’s 127th annual Memorial Day observance begins with a pancake breakfast, from 7:30 a.m. until the parade starts, at Wesleyan Methodist Church, 811 Eighth Ave. Any and all area veterans are invited to join the parade; a ride will be provided for them. Citizens, too, may walk in the parade, which will start at 10 a.m. and travel down Eighth through the downtown to Erie Cemetery on Albany Street, led by a 16-by-26-foot American flag carried by the village firefighters.

At the cemetery, there will be a ceremony that includes a performance by the Erie High School Show Choir and a patriotic sing-along. Call Mel Saad Sr., 309-373-3503, for more information.

Tampico: American Legion Post 574 members will present a flag ceremony and a rifle salute at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cemetery on Benton Street. Then they will walk to Tampico Memorial Cemetery on state Route 172 and present the same honors.

Call Cmdr. John Taets, 815-438-5182, or Joan Johnson, 815-622-8705, for more information.

In Carroll County

Chadwick/Milledgeville: A service will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the new American Legion memorial at Milledgeville High School, 100 E. Eighth St./state Route 40. Sgt. Kyle Hacker, with the National Guard’s 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, will speak. Call Milledgeville Village Hall, 815-225-7231, for more information.

In Bureau County

Ohio: Services will begin at 8 a.m. with Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, 103 S. Main St. After Mass, the Rev. Thomas Shaw will recite the rosary at St. Mary Cemetery on Baseline Road, weather permitting. Call the rectory, 815-379-2602, for more information.

Walnut: The Walnut American Legion Post 179 observance begins with the American Legion Color Guard and Boy Scouts marching from the downtown through the Avenue of Flags to Walnut Cemetery, at Joseph Road and County Road 1300. The ceremony there begins at 11 a.m., rain or shine, and includes an address by Ron Wolf, bagpipe music, a performance by the Bureau Valley North band, a firing squad and taps.

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