Memorial Day Observed at Elgin Cemeteries

ELGIN — Just hours after a severe thunderstorm nourished the soil with two inches of rain, Elgin area residents turned out en masse to observe Memorial Day at cemeteries nearby.
Tombstones were adorned with flowers, many of them fresh, and markers signifying being a veteran during a time of war. Other graves were adorned with more personal items, befitting a father, a husband, a mother or another member of the family. Gone, but never forgotten, those who have passed were remembered in thoughts and prayers on this day.
Festivities began Monday morning at Park Center Cemetery west of Elgin. Flags were unfurled as citizens with loved ones buried there turned out for the 10 a.m. ceremony.
A color guard was flanked by members as the local American Legion, VFW and Auxiliaries were represented and participated in the ceremony which lasted nearly 30 minutes.
Guest speaker was Janet Davis, pastor at Park Congregational U.C.C. Church. Having just led a worship service in the church just minutes before, Davis shared with those in the cemetery two poems which reflected on the national holiday and what it might mean to all who hear the words.
One was entitled, “What Would You Have Me Do,” a Memorial Day Tribute by John Posey.
Oh gallant sons of glory,
Whose years were so precious few —
In payment for the debt I owe,
What would you have me do?
If only I could hear,
What question would you ask?
To pay this debt of honor,
Just what would be my task?
Could your immortal spirits
Meet me face to face,
What would you have me do
To calm your resting place?
Could I breach the chasm of death
And ask you to answer true,
In payment for the lives you gave,
What would you have me do?
“We hope that what we do here today is a fitting tribute to those who sacrificed their lives that we might be gathered in this place today,” Mrs. Davis said.
The scene then shifted east to St. Boniface/West Cedar cemeteries where a larger crowd gathered near the War Memorial to listen to the words of Father Ross Burkhalter of St. Boniface Catholic Church who gave the address. Burkhalter shared the story of Billy Burke, a fire captain who died on 9/11.

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