Village, post ready to observe holiday

Memorial Day processions, ceremonies designed to honor those who have been lost

Hinsdaleans have a variety of ways to honor those who made the greatest sacrifice during Memorial Day commemorations Monday, May 27.

Residents can start the day at a 7 a.m. service at Bronswood Cemetery at 3805 Madison St. in Oak Brook. American Legion Post 250 will host this special service honoring members of the Armed Forces who have been lost.

Post 520 Adjutant Joseph Craig will read the poem "Flanders Field" and the names of the honored dead.

Then annual Memorial Day procession will step off at 10 a.m. from Third Street near Hinsdale Middle School. Veterans, Scout troops and other participants will head west to Washington Street and then continue north on Washington to the Memorial Building.

Craig said he hopes to see more involvement this year.

"We're looking for veterans to show up and be in the procession," he said. "They don't have to be a member of the American Legion. This is a community event.

"Either they can ride in the cars or we would be pleased to have them march with us in the color guard," he added.

The staging area is at Third Street and Garfield Avenue. Veterans can simply show up or can call or text Craig at (630) 606-2423.

A ceremony will follow on the front lawn of the Memorial Building, 19 E. Chicago Ave., where the procession concludes.

The Hinsdale Central band will play various selections as dignitaries and guests assemble. Erin Tribe will sing the National Anthem and the Hinsdale Chorale will perform "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and "America the Beautiful."

Post Cmdr. Jack Orbel will be this year's guest speaker. As always, "Flanders Field" and the names of the honored dead will be read, followed by a rifle salute.

"We're very pleased that the village now has taken over sponsorship of it," Craig said of the procession and ceremony.

The annual remembrance reminds Craig of places like Peleliu (a photo of which hangs in the post office) and Normandy (which he has visited), where so many Americans were killed.

"At least personally for me, Memorial Day brings back these images that I'm not sure very many people would have in their minds," he said.

Craig encouraged people to remember the many members of the military have died outside of war zones and those who are missing in action.

"Their names never get put up on a wall anywhere," he said. "We still have a lot of people who are missing and presumed dead and their sacrifice is never recognized."

He also thinks of families who have lost loved ones.

"For Gold Star parents who have lost sons and daughters, and spouses and their children, for them every day is Memorial Day, not just one day a year."

Other ceremonies

• Fullersburg Cemetery on the north end of Garfield Street in Hinsdale will host its annual Memorial Day flag-changing ceremony at noon. Then Don Fuller, great-great-grandson of Benjamin Fuller, founder of Fullersburg, will lead guests on a tour.

• DuPage County will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at the DuPage County Government Complex.

The ceremony will take place at the Veterans Memorial, located outside near the pond at the complex, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. The memorial commemorates DuPage County residents who lost their lives in military conflicts at home and abroad, beginning with the Black Hawk War in 1832 and continuing to the most recent engagements overseas.

The event will include the laying of the wreath by Gold Star families and a weapons salute by DuPage Honor Guard. The DuPage Honor Guard also will retire the colors.

Guests should park in the south parking lot of the 421 Administration Building. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the atrium of that building.

• American Legion Post 556 will honor the fallen with a Memorial Day program from noon to 1 p.m. May 27 in front of the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Speakers will explain the traditions and customs of Memorial Day, and the program will conclude with the playing of Taps.

Limited seating is available for this outdoor event. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets. There is no admission fee. Parking is $15.

From 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 24, guests can tour the First Division Museum at Cantigny. Experience the remarkable history of the U.S. Army's oldest and most storied unit, the 1st Infantry Division, through exhibits featuring the actions and accomplishments of the Big Red One from its inception during World War I through World War II and ending in the jungles of Vietnam. An optional 15-minute guided tour through the Duty First Gallery will follow. Admission is free with $5 paid parking.

More activities

• The Hinsdale Community Pool opens for the season Memorial Day weekend Saturday, May 25.

Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, and 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, May 27. The baby pool will open early, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and lap swim will be offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Daily admission for residents is $11, $8 for seniors 60 and older and $9 after 5 p.m.

• Wonder Woods Mini Golf opens Friday, May 24, at the Morton Arboretum at 4100 Route 53 in Lisle.

The tree-themed adventure offers a one-of-a-kind course specially designed for the arboretum, with giant mushrooms, larger-than-life bugs and acorns. Golfers will learn how tree rings can tell the life story of a tree, how trees support the ecosystems of bugs and wildlife and other cool scientific concepts.

The course is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with the last tee time at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids 4 to 17 ($8/$6 for members), and must be purchased in advance and in addition to arboretum admission.

• The annual Spring Fling Festival will take place at Ty Warner Park in Westmont from Friday, May 24, to Sunday, May 26.

Hosted by the Westmont Lions Club, the free event features music, food vendors, commercial and craft vendors, an all-ages carnival and more.

The festival includes fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Saturday.

Festival hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.