Veterans Memorial Hall: 2024 Memorial Day Parade & Program details

Date: April 23, 2024

Topic: 2024 Memorial Day Events, Downtown Rockford IL

Contact: Museum Director Scott Lewandowski | (815) 969-1999 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Who: Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum & Winnebago County Veterans Association

Where: Downtown Rockford Illinois

When: Memorial Day Monday, May 27, 2024- 9 AM to 12 PM

What: 2024 Memorial Day Parade, Memorial Day Ceremony and Sinking of the Ship Ceremony

Memorial Day Monday May 27 2024 marks the 156th anniversary of General John Logan's general order # 11 which created "Decoration Day", designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country. Memorial Day events will include: The Parade, a Rockford tradition since 1870, remembering our fallen by Area Veterans Organizations, school bands, Police and Fire Departments and organizations that continually support area Veterans. A Memorial Day Ceremony, following the parade on the Wyman St. side of Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum. The annual Navy Club Ship # 1's Sinking of the Ship ceremony, following the Memorial Day Ceremony to be held on the Rock River bank behind the New Rockford Public Library at State and Wyman.

The Memorial Day Parade Monday May 27th 2024 at 9:00 AM. All parade units will line up near the intersection of 7th St. and 6th Ave. the parade will proceed at 9:00 AM north on 7th St. to Charles St., Charles St. to State St. units will then travel west on State St. and turn north on Wyman St. and then proceed north to Beattie Park where the parade will end. Unit review and commentary will be at the Armistice Peace Memorial on the east side of Veterans Memorial Hall.

Once the parade has ended at approximately 10:15 AM, N. Wyman St between Mulberry St and Jefferson St will remain closed and the Memorial Day Program will begin. Program includes a welcome address and remarks from Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph V. Chiarelli. Keynote speaker Jesus Pereira, Superintendent of the Veterans Assistance Commission of Winnebago County, will share his thought on Memorial Day and what it means to him. We will conclude the ceremony with a moment of silence followed by a Memorial Rose ceremony and the playing of Taps.

The Memorial Day activities will continue immediately following Veterans Memorial Hall's Memorial Day Ceremony with the annual riverside Sinking of the Ship Ceremony including the reading of General Order #11, a wreath presentation, a 21-gun salute by the Rockford Detachment Marine Corp League and the sinking of the ship presented by the Navy Club Ship #1 on the river bank behind the Rockford Public Library 215 N Wyman St.

Why: There were 599 veterans who passed away in Winnebago County in 2023. Decoration Day/Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.