Rockton Memorial Day Parade
The parade traditionally begins at 9:00 a.m. on Blackhawk Blvd. on the south side of the bridge over the Rock River, laying a wreath into the water, and heads north to the Rockton Township cemetery, with a short ceremony afterward. The parade usually includes the Hononegah High School Band.
At Main Street, the parade turns left (west) to N. Center Street, then turns right on N. Center Street heading north to Rockton Road/Union Street, then left again at Rockton Road to West Street, then right (north) on West Street to the Rockton Cemetery.
The event is organized by Rockton American Legion Post #332.
Here's Marianne's story about the 2021 parade:
2021 Rockton Memorial Day events honored and remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice
By Marianne Mueller, Reporter
Patriotic music rang out as Rockton’s 2021 Memorial Day parade rolled from Blackhawk Bridge. The Rockton American Legion Rifle Squad and Ladies Auxiliary members led off the action which started with a wreath throwing ceremony on Blackhawk Bridge. The wreath is adorned with poppies which carry a special meaning.
American Legion Sgt. at Arms Tom Streck and his wife Angelika served as this year’s parade organizers. Led by members of the American Legion Post the parade route moved from Blackhawk down to Main Street, proceded to Union Street and concluded at the Rockton Township Cemetery where a meaningful ceremony of remembrance took place.
Color Guards, members, and the Rifle Squad marched or rode in different vehicles. Vintage vehicles, the Rockton Police Department, Rockton Cub Scout Pack 619, Boy Scouts, Brownie and Girl Scout Troops, Daisy Troops who recited their pledge, and the Rockton Fire Department all made a mark by participating. The Hononegah High School marching band kept a medley of patriotic tunes rolling.
Commander Jim Griffin welcomed everyone to the 2021 Memorial Day remembrance. He introduced guest speaker, Dr. Jimmy Walker of Chicago. Walker is a Navy veteran who was in the Gulf War.
“This is definitely a memorable time in our country, “Walker said. He quoted Veteran Everest Edison West; a U.S. Army Soldier. West received the highest honor which is the Medal of Honor. He was one sibling of 25 other males in one family. As a family they bonded together and stood together as friends and as a family who would fight for each other and support each other. “I believe that in our society that if we would stick together with the differences we face; as brothers and sisters and friends for a same cause; no matter what your race or color is; we as a people have the power to make a difference,” “Walker said. West died in Sept. of this year.”
Walker added, “For fallen soldiers and comrades who paid the ultimate price; the ultimate sacrifice simple Thank you is not enough. We have the power to have rest at night. These support heroes live on in them; in loving memories though friends and our nation. We must acknowledge family and friends of fallen soldiers and their loved ones. Prayers that our fallen heroes have found eternal rest.”
Angelika Streck, Amy Mullen, Gary Holme and Gordy Justice Sr. read a roll call of names of fallen comrades who served in the War of 1812, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, War Unknown, Civil War Veterans, Vietnam, Iraq War, and area Veterans buried elsewhere.
Today we are reading names of all who served from the Spanish American War to current day,” Streck said. “Some died during conflict, some gave with their lives, and others with service time. All gave some and some gave all. We are also recognizing Gold Star Mothers. Though they might not have served, they should be recognized. Flags have been placed in the cemetery; many here have family and friends that have since passed away. ”
All stood with hands over hearts as Hononegah’s marching band played our National Anthem. Upon orders the Rockton American Legion Rifle squad honored departed comrades with a 21 gun salute. Rifle squad member Kary Krebs honored the flag by placing it at half-staff. Dr. Walker and Ladies Auxiliary President Kathy Starver respectfully laid the wreath followed by a salute.
HHS band student William Hardwick played a bone chilling version of Taps.
Special thanks were given by Griffin to all who made the day’s events possible and to the Rockton Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works Department, the Hononegah Marching Band, Legion Riders who assisted the police with blocking streets off, and Dave Johnson for supplying the sound system.
Rockton Township Cemetery
600 West St
Rockton, IL 61072