Some exciting changes are taking place for this year’s Memorial Day parade. With a slight route change to bring the parade back to Main Street and the presence of our 26th president Theodore Roosevelt this will be a parade not to miss.
This year’s featured service branch is the United States Air Force. The parade Grand Marshal is Chief Master Sergeant Alvin “Al” L. Blake; Chief Blake grew up in Rockford, Illinois and entered the Air Force in November 1984. Chief Blake has served in a variety of positions within and outside the security forces career field to include the Senior SF representative, Izmir AS, Turkey, Anti-terrorism Officer to the United States Defense Representative, Ankara Turkey and Mission Support Group Superintendent, Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Chief Blake is currently serving as Security Forces Manager, HQ AMC, Scott AFB, IL
President Theodore Roosevelt will be in town to re-dedicate Memorial Hall for its 110th year with a grand re-dedication ceremony to take place in front of Memorial Hall after the parade.
The parade is hosted by the Winnebago County Veterans Association and Veterans Memorial Hall. The Memorial Day Parade is a long standing tradition for the City of Rockford. It confirms the commitment of area citizens to up hold the traditions set for by General Logan’s order # 11 proclaiming the 30th of May as a day when flowers were to be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. In essence to honor those Veterans that lost their lives serving our country.
2013’s Memorial Day parade route will differ slightly from past years. The staging and starting point for the parade will remain the same. Monday May 27th 2013 at 8:30 AM all parade units will line up near the intersection of 7th St. and 6th Ave. At 9:00 AM the parade will proceed north on 7th St. to Charles St., Charles St. to State St. units will then travel west on State St. This is where the parade route differs, the parade will continue west on State St. passed Wyman St. and turn north on Main St. then proceed north to the intersection of N. Main St and Park Ave. where the parade will end.
Decoration Day/Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten that Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving our county. Veterans Memorial Hall wishes to help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.