Wilmette, Community

Parades are back for local Memorial Day ceremonies. Wilmette has special guest, as well.

Monday is shaping up to be a memorable Memorial Day on Monday, May 30, in the North Shore.

For the first time in three years, parades are returning to Winnetka and Wilmette, the latter of which is also adding a special guest and more to honor the local sons and daughters who died while serving in the United States armed forces.

Wilmette has reimagined its parade as a Unity March and is asking any and all Wilmette organizations — from service and religious groups to government and civic bodies — to participate. More than 50 groups reportedly are already signed up.

The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the St. Joseph Church parking lot, 1747 Lake Ave., and march to Village Hall, 1200 Wilmette Ave., by 10:30 a.m. A ceremony will follow.

“Widespread participation will not only honor the service and supreme sacrifice made by our Wilmette heroes, but it will affirm that we are truly a community of citizens who not only live together but who care about one another,” reads a press release from the Village of Wilmette, which is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2022.

Retired Admiral Michael Rogers

The Village’s Sesquicentennial Committee pitched in to bolster the Memorial Day festivities, securing special guest speaker Michael Rogers, a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former director of the National Security Agency who grew up in Wilmette.

In recent history, at least 30 years, the village president has been the keynote speaker at Wilmette’s Memorial Day observance. But during the town’s 150th year, officials sought a special guest, and committee member John Jacoby reached out to Rogers as a “flier.”

“I took a flier and contacted him and he didn’t have to be persuaded,” Jacoby said. “We were excited about the prospect of him coming back.”

Roger will speak following the parade and will lead into the placement of a memorial wreath by Nancy Fox, the mother of Sgt. John Phillips Jr., the most recent Wilmette serviceperson to die in combat (1983).

The event will also feature a soloist signing the national anthem, the Wilmette Community Band, a color guard, local Boy Scouts and more, Jacoby said.

For more information, contact Lisa Roberts with the Village of Wilmette: robertsl@wilmette.com or (847) 853-7529.


Jerry Conner (left), of Winnetka, salutes during the playing of the national anthem at a Memorial Day ceremony in Winnetka.

Winnetka is also bringing back its parade after omitting it in 2020 and 2021 for the town’s 95th Memorial Day Observance.

The march begins at 10 a.m. from the corner of Glendale and Elm Street and heads east to the Village Green Park, 525 Maple St., for a ceremony.

Last year’s event featured a guest of honor, retired U.S. Army Capt. J. Colin Daniels, as well as Girl and Boy Scouts, the North Shore Country Day middle school chorus, the New Trier VFW, and individuals from New Trier High School, the Sheridan Singers and Winnetka Congregational Church. Winnetka resident and retired U.S. Army veteran Capt. Matt Schachman was the emcee.

A memorial wreath is laid at the veteran’s tribute at the newly renovated Veteran’s Park in Glencoe on Memorial Day.

The Village of Glencoe will host a ceremony at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, 299 Park Ave., which is adjacent to Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave.

Village officials will be joined by the Glencoe Historical Society for the town’s 150th anniversary of its Memorial Day observance.

As is tradition, the Village of Kenilworth held its Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday, May 22.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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