STATELINE (WIFR) -- Several communities celebrate Memorial Day early with services on Sunday to honor our fallen heroes.
Families gathered at the Old Scottish Cemetery to pay tribute to local service men and women. Families placed flags and flowers at veterans' graves. The Loves Park VFW played taps and provided a 21 gun salute at the ceremony.
In Stephenson County, families took part in a decades old tradition to honor veterans killed in action. Since 1926, the Cranes Grove Cemetery has hosted a Memorial Day ceremony. Former Army Chaplain Reverend Tim Hotchkiss led the service, which included performances of “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America”. There was also a rifle salute and taps thanks to members of the American Legion in Forreston.
“I think it is a solemn obligation of all Americans to remember our veteran dead and the great sacrifices they made and the wonderful deeds they accomplished,” says Korean War Veteran Lloyd Zimmerman.
In Rockford, Stateline native and Army infantryman Andrew McLaughlin shared his story at Veterans’ Memorial Hall. He created the personal documentary entitled "A Soldier's Home”. His goal is to present an alternative perspective on war and combat, one that isn't often seen in Hollywood movies and television shows.
Events planned for Monday include:
Memorial Day Mass at Calvary Cemetery at 9am. Bishop David Malloy presides.
Rockford's Memorial Day Parade steps off in downtown at 9am.
Veteran's Memorial Hall in Rockford hosts a celebration beginning at around 10:30am
The Friends of West Middle School have a ceremony planned for in front of the school at 11am.
The Freeport Memorial Day Parade and Courthouse Ceremony will begin at 10am.