Arlington Heights time capsule delayed; is Memorial Day parade next?

  • Arlington Heights holds its Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Park every year, though organizers say it's too early to say if this year's ceremony and preceding parade will be canceled due to the coronavirus.

      Arlington Heights holds its Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Park every year, though organizers say it's too early to say if this year's ceremony and preceding parade will be canceled due to the coronavirus. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2019

  • Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights, said the deadline for organizations to submit items for the committee's time capsule project has been extended due to the coronavirus. Padovani, who also is a village trustee, displayed one of the boxes earlier this month at a village board meeting.

      Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights, said the deadline for organizations to submit items for the committee's time capsule project has been extended due to the coronavirus. Padovani, who also is a village trustee, displayed one of the boxes earlier this month at a village board meeting. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/26/2020 8:43 AM

Organizers of an Arlington Heights time capsule project have extended the deadline for groups to contribute to the effort, but that means the capsules likely won't be buried on Memorial Day as planned.

Members of the committee also say it's too early to know if the ongoing coronavirus crisis could cancel the village's 101st annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony scheduled for Monday, May 25.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We are watching for the 'OK to resume normal life' message from the appropriate authorities," said Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights. "If we can get that signal -- even a few weeks before Memorial Day -- we might be able to pull it off."

In the worst-case scenario, Padovani said, the Memorial Day ceremony could be recorded for broadcast and online posting. But as in the past, the committee would consult with the village, park district and veterans before making any decision, he added.

"In the meantime, we are waiting, watching and praying for the best -- for everyone," he said.

Groups hoping to contribute to the time capsule project will have two months after the current stay-at-home orders are lifted, according to the veterans committee, which is coordinating the time capsule project.

The original deadline to submit digital artifacts was April 15.

The committee already has started collecting digitized content to be placed on large master discs, and then inside three time capsule boxes. The boxes were set to be buried at the foot of the Eternal Flame statue following the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Park.

In what organizers believe is a unique "multigenerational" time capsule project, the plan would be to unearth one of the boxes 33 years later, have those Arlington Heights residents put in material of their own, and rebury the box. Then 33 years later, the second box would be dug up, contents emptied, refilled and reburied. And 34 years after that (a century from now), the same would happen with the third box.

Some 50 local organizations have committed to making contributions, including veterans groups, village government, park district, library, historical society, schools, businesses, civic groups and the faith community.

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