Memorial Day is one week away and several events are scheduled locally for the annual holiday of remembrance. This is a non-exhaustive list that will continue to be updated online.
Veterans' Council's services
The Kankakee County Veterans’ Council will be having two Memorial Day Services on Monday. Karen Smietanski, of the Veterans Assistance Commission of Kankakee County, will emcee both events.
The first service will take place at 9 a.m. at the Memorial Gardens Cemetery located on East Route 17 in Kankakee. Military rites and the Posting of the Colors will be performed by the council’s Military Service Organizations. A Memorial Day message will be presented by the Honorable Judge Marlow Jones.
The second Memorial Day Service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on the north lawn of the Kankakee County Courthouse. The Veterans’ Council will be posting the colors. The Honorable Judge Marlow Jones will give the keynote address on the steps of the courthouse where he serves as the presiding judge over Veteran’s Treatment Court and Family Law Cases. Jones, U.S. Air Force Veteran, was appointed to the bench in July 2022.
Opening ceremonies will include the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, being performed by local vocal artist and musician Tim Rehmer. Rehmer will also be performing other vocals throughout the program.
Chaplain Peg Myers, a U.S.M.C. veteran, will be giving the invocation. The laying of the Memorial Day wreathes will be presented by Ashley Appleton, of the Kankakee County VAC office.
Closing the Memorial Day ceremony will be a rifle squad from the St. George American Legion, firing a live rifle salute in memory of all the nation's fallen comrades, commanded by Mike Spade, commander of the St. George American Legion, and “TAPS” will be played by the Marine Corps League Bugler Emma Caise.
The events are open to the public and those that require sitting in a chair are asked to bring a folding chair. This ceremony will be performed rain or shine.
The Kankakee Veterans’ Council organizations include: Marine Corps League 1253; St. George American Legion Post 1164; Kankakee American Legion Post 85; Kankakee County Disabled American Veterans Chapter 34; Kankakee VFW Post 2857; Veterans Assistance Commission of Kankakee County.
Veterans' Council’s Flag Placement
The Kankakee County Veterans' Council will again be placing flags upon veterans’ graves for Memorial Day. At 8 a.m. Thursday, they will start at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, located next to I-57 on Court Street. From there, they will move to Mound Grove Cemetery on Brookmont Boulevard and will work there for the remainder of the day.
At 8 a.m. Friday, the group will meet at Memorial Gardens (east on Route 17 at Lowe Road) in order to complete the placement of flags.
For questions and more information, call Edward Peters at 815-953-4572.
Ken Klipp Classic 5K
The Fightin’ Irish Ken Klipp Classic 5K run and two-mile walk and Memorial Day Salute to all Veterans will once again be held on Memorial Day this year, and runners and walkers still have the chance to register.
The race will begin at Bishop McNamara Catholic High School, 550 W. Brookmont Blvd., on Monday, May 29. Registration will begin at 7 a.m., with a pre-race welcome at 7:45 a.m. that precludes the 8 a.m. race.
The race is run in honor of Marine Captain Ryan Beaupre. Beaupre was a 1991 Bishop McNamara graduate and avid participant in track and field and cross country for the Fightin’ Irish. He joined the US Marine Corps in 1997 as a pilot, and was killed in 2003. A scholarship in his name for McNamara students was established after his death.
In addition to the race, there will be an honoring of all veterans in observance of Memorial Day.
Registration is $25. There will be prizes for age division winners in the 5K run and prizes for the two mile walk winners as well. There will be a post-race awards ceremony, as well as a post-race leprechaun dash for children nine and under. The race begins at McNamara and runs through Bradley.
For more information, including how to register, visit bishopmac.com/5k.
Manteno American Legion
The Manteno American Legion Color Guard will honor fallen and deceased veterans on Memorial Day by conducting a memorial remembrance at five area cemeteries, followed by a ceremony at Manteno Legion Park.
At 8 a.m., the group will go to Deselm Cemetery; 8:30 a.m. is Blooms Grove Cemetery; 9 a.m. is Veterans Cemetery; 9:30 a.m. is St. Joseph Cemetery; 9:50 a.m. is Elmwood Cemetery.
At 10:45 a.m., the Color Guard will step off from Post 755 and will march to Manteno Legion Park for the final 11 a.m. ceremony. Following the ceremony, there will be food and beverages provided by the Manteno American Legion and the Ladies Legion Auxiliary at Manteno Post 755.
The NABVETS will recognize Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Monday at Angel of Peace Cemetery.
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