Wilmette, Community

North Shore residents honor the fallen on Memorial Day

In 2017, U.S. Army veteran Joseph Byrne led the Wilmette Memorial Day parade, and in this year’s march, his daughter Eileen Richards made sure he was there in spirit.

Richards marched in the Memorial Day parade Monday, May 29, carrying a photo of Byrne, who died in January at 97 years old.

“I thought since he just passed, I’d do this in his memory,” said Richards, who marched with her daughter Kay’s Girl Scout troop. “I know he’s here watching over us.”


After the march, Richards joined hundreds of residents in and around Wilmette’s Village Hall Green for a ceremony in honor of those who died in combat while serving in the U.S. armed forces, including 110 Wilmette residents and others from neighboring communities.

During the ceremony, Village President Senta Plunkett was among the speakers, and the Wilmette Community Band played military anthems and patriotic songs, as well.

Winnetka’s Deputy Fire Chief Tom Hutchison waves to paradegoers on Memorial Day in Winnetka.

Winnetka’s Memorial Day parade marched to the Village Green for a ceremony that included musical performances, the presentation of colors and a memorial wreath.

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 Highland Park, local veterans groups, the Highland Park High School band and City of Highland Park officials collaborated on a Memorial Day observance at the high school.

Laura Joyce-Hubbard, the City’s first poet laureate, read her poem “Escort Officer Duty,” described as “a reflection on her experience as an Air Force pilot charged with the honor and responsibility of escorting fallen servicemembers home from war.”

In Kenilworth, residents marked down Kenilworth Avenue a week earlier, on May 21 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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