Memorial Day Services in the Kankakee Valley began Sunday at the Knox VFW Post 748. The posting of the guard ceremonies began at 12:00 noon. Speakers included Tim Shepherd of the VFW, Dewayne Arndt, representing Congressman Joe Donnelly, State Representative Nancy Dembowski, and Knox Mayor Rick Chambers.
Following the opening services, Ted Hayes talked with several of the participants including Representative Dembowski.
“The services are especially touching here at the Knox VFW,” said Dembowski. “They really just go all out. From the cannons to the bagpipes, it’s very touching. It means to me that although we certainly honor those who have died in service to our country, we must honor them even more by making certain that those veterans who serve and come home never want for anything. We are there for them whenever they need us. I think that’s one of the ways we can best honor those who died.”
“It’s a special day,” said Knox Mayor Rick Chambers. “I served in the military and the day belongs to the military people and in remembrance of them.”
Bob Sims is the Commander of the VFW and he talked about his feelings.
“It brings back a lot of memories when I was in Vietnam,” said Sims. “I lost a lot of my friends and we’re here to remember them.”
“It’s remembering all of our comrades past and of course future too because today we have an all volunteer military force,” said World War II veteran, Joe Smrt. “In 1942, I was drafted. But today, they go to the military for the great love of their country. It’s so wonderful to see people today remembering, caring and sharing the day with us. There are so many people who pay the supreme sacrifice that it’s our duty to remember them for all time.”
Also taking part in the services were the National Guard members taking part in the vigil, and Civil War re-enactors who have set up in the back of the VFW.