Homewood and Flossmoor community members marked a socially distanced Memorial Day on Monday, May 31.
The Wally Burns VFW Post 8077 hosted an 11 a.m. wreath-laying ceremony led by post commander John Beele at the Veterans Memorial on Harwood Avenue. The ceremony had a strong turnout, including veterans, friends and family of veterans, and local Girl Scout troop 60523.
Rev. Dan Jarosewic of St. Joseph Church opened the ceremony with a prayer, followed by the Girl Scouts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The Homewood-Flossmoor High School Marching Band played several selections including "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "Taps," and then helped close the program with "America the Beautiful."
In his speech before the wreath-laying, Beele reflected on the H-F community's longstanding unity. "We always say Homewood-Flossmoor, we talk about it as H-F, divided by a hyphen. This is one community."
As part of the ceremony, four wreaths were presented representing World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. Several veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Gulf War carried their respective wreaths, while family members of World War II veterans set that memorial wreath in place.
Flossmoor held its first official ceremony at the roundabout in front of the library. Mayor Michelle Nelson, who helped organize the event, welcomed all to Flossmoor's inaugural event. The ceremony gave veterans a chance to share stories of their service and gave time for remembrances of veterans who lost their lives in active duty.
"Flossmoor residents honor [veterans'] memory every day, by checking in on their neighbors, by volunteering throughout the community. So thanks so much to all of you for all that you do to build community," said Nelson.
The program closed with a violin rendition of "Taps" performed by Kate Nelson, the mayor's daughter.
Photos by Andrew Burke-Stevenson/H-F Chronicle.