Drive-by Memorial Day commemoration planned in Arlington Heights

  • Wreaths honoring 58 young men from Arlington Heights who gave the ultimate sacrifice were part of last year's virtual ceremony in village hall. This year, they will be in place as part of a drive-by commemoration at Memorial Park.

    Wreaths honoring 58 young men from Arlington Heights who gave the ultimate sacrifice were part of last year's virtual ceremony in village hall. This year, they will be in place as part of a drive-by commemoration at Memorial Park. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, May 2020

 
 
Updated 5/20/2021 8:01 AM

Arlington Heights' commemoration of Memorial Day, among the largest remembrance events in the suburbs, will not feature a parade and in-person ceremony for the second consecutive year, but will be marked in different ways.

Organizers from the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights have invited the community to drive by Memorial Park -- the usual site of the annual ceremony -- between 9 and 11 a.m. Monday, May 31.

 

There, committee Chairman Greg Padovani, Mayor Tom Hayes and other organizers will render a salute as drivers pass by. There will also be 58 commemorative wreaths in place to honor the young men from Arlington Heights who died in service to the nation from the Civil War to the war in Afghanistan.

"It's a very powerful sight to see a wreath for every one of these young men who died for our freedoms," Padovani said.

The veterans committee already recorded a ceremony at village hall in lieu of the traditional outdoor ceremony. It will be available to watch next week on YouTube and the village's cable channel.

Already this month, the "Arlington Remembers" signs that are common at the annual parade have started popping up in storefront windows around town. They're available at the village hall reception desk, library information desk, and the park district's Arlington Ridge Center. Some 2,000 have been distributed so far.

"One of the important things to remember is that this sign is seen by a lot of the members of the families of these fallen heroes. A lot of them are still here and this means so much to them to see this sign in your windows," Padovani said. "Pick up one of these signs, put it in your window, but make sure you take a look at the back and look at those names. Those are the names that make Memorial Day what we really think about that day."

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