Wilmette, Community

Local communities pull out all the stops in observance of Memorial Day

The Village Hall Green in Wilmette was so full of people, guest of honor Michael Rogers had to take video.

“My dad is not going to believe it,” said Rogers, a Wilmette native, retired admiral in the U.S. Navy and former director of the National Security Agency.


With attendance as the metric, Wilmette’s boosted Memorial Day ceremony was a hit on Monday, May 30. The festivities in Wilmette, which were enhanced in the spirit of the town’s 150th anniversary, began with a Unity March featuring more than 50 local entries, from Scouts and service groups to businesses and local government.

Wilmette guest of honor retired Admiral Michael Rogers takes video of the crowd on the Village Hall Green during the Memorial Day ceremony.

The parade concluded at Village Hall, where the Wilmette Community Band and hundreds of guests were waiting. The ceremony included the performance of the national anthem by Paul Reineck and the community band, an invocation from Rabbi Samuel Gordon, words from former Wilmette American Legion Commander Andy Haszlakiewicz and the keynote address from Rogers.

Scouts then read out the names of the 110 Wilmette residents who died while serving in the United States armed forces, and Nancy Fox — mother of one of those heroes, Marine Sgt. John Phillips — placed a wreath at the town’s memorial wall.

Just north, the Village of Winnetka also brought back its Memorial Day parade after limiting the event the previous two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Naval veteran and former U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was the guest of honor, leading the parade and addressing the crowd at Village Green Park.

The Village of Glencoe and Glencoe Historical Society welcomed residents to Veterans Memorial Park to honor the sons and daughters of Glencoe who died while in service.

In Kenilworth, residents marked down Kenilworth Avenue a week earlier, on Sunday, May 22, to observe Memorial Day.

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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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