MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - The Jackson County Board, cities of Carbondale and Murphysboro and General John A. Logan Museum are teamed up to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day in the United States on May 28.
Before picnics and barbeques with family and friends, crowds of southern Illinoisans came together to remember the real meaning behind Memorial Day in ceremonies hosted by leaders like Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens.
"It's about honoring those people who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy days like Memorial Day the way that we enjoy them in this country," said Stephens.
For Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry, remembering the past is crucial for a better tomorrow.
"I think we have to steep ourselves in our history and remember where we came from so we can tell where we're going," said Henry.
Veterans like Calvin Scott also see services like the ones held in Jackson County as critical for the future, particularly the next generation.
"Seeing people come out like this you know keeps their memory alive," he said. Because you know a little child might've lost their daddy and stuff like that so this is really important. "
One group of Boy Scouts helped to keep those memories alive after marching almost eight miles from the Jackson County courthouse in Murphysboro all the way to Carbondale to lay down ceremonial wreaths. But, D.J. Duty says it was worth it.
"It really warms the heart. because you know you're doing something good for the community," said Duty.
At 11-years old, he and his troop members know the real meaning behind this holiday.
"It's a real good important feeling because the veterans who have lost their lives need to be remembered," Duty added.
Festivities for the day included:
- A Memorial Day service with special guests Gary Ecelbarger and Brian Ellis, Woodlawn Cemetery, Carbondale, 10 a.m.
- A wreath-laying ceremony, General John A. Logan Monument, Murphysboro, 12:30 p.m.
- A BBQ lunch, 17th Street Bar & Grill, Murphysboro, 1 to 2 p.m.
- A Book signing with authors Daniel Bellware and Dr. Richard Gardiner, General John A. Logan Museum, Murphysboro, 2 to 3 p.m.