Several communities in the Peoria area are commemorating veterans this weekend, in honor of Memorial Day.
The Village of Morton is dedicating its newly completed downtown plaza that features a veterans’ memorial. The $2 million Memorial Plaza Project is a village-owned “pocket park” that features flags of the five US service branches, an American flag and commemorative pavers.
Military and municipal leaders will lead a ceremony that includes a ribbon cutting, recitations of the Gettysburg Address, and a rifle salute.
The plaza dedication and ceremony in Morton is scheduled for Monday, Memorial Day, at 11 am.
In Peoria, an Iraq War veteran and assistant Peoria County State’s Attorney will lead a Memorial Day service at the American Mausoleum, on the city’s North Side.
First Lieutenant Matthew Swearingen is scheduled to speak at the Mausoleum’s annual ceremony to remember fallen soldiers.
Swearingen, who works in the County Courts’ misdemeanor division, is also an intelligence analyst for the Illinois National Guard. He earned a Purple Heart for his service that includes Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Memorial Day Service at the American Mausoleum is Saturday, May 27 at 10:30am.
The Marine Corps League Detachment 81 will host two ceremonies for Memorial Day weekend.
The first is on Sunday at 2pm on Marine Mound at Soldiers Hill at Springdale Cemetery. It includes a wreath laying and a speech from Detachment 81 Commandant Kevin Enlow. An honor guard from American Legion Post 2 will also participate.
The second, on Monday at 2pm, is at Tower Park in Peoria Heights. Detachment 81 will honor fallen Marines from the area. Following the ceremony, there will be a small dinner at the Navy Marine Club on Seiberling Ave.