• Maj. Gen. John Wharton speaks at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Hero Street Memorial Park in Silvis, Ill., May 26. An estimated 200 people attended the event hosted by the city of Silvis.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Maj. Gen. John Wharton speaks at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Hero Street Memorial Park in Silvis, Ill., May 26. An estimated 200 people attended the event hosted by the city of Silvis.

  • Sgt. Maj. Brian Marone, senior enlisted adviser for the U.S. Army Sustainment Command's Distribution Management Center, speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony in Preston, Iowa, May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Sgt. Maj. Brian Marone, senior enlisted adviser for the U.S. Army Sustainment Command's Distribution Management Center, speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony in Preston, Iowa, May 26.

  • Members of American Legion Post 602 march up Main Street in Preston, Iowa, during a Memorial Day ceremony, May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Members of American Legion Post 602 march up Main Street in Preston, Iowa, during a Memorial Day ceremony, May 26.

  • Col. William Krahling, commander, U.S. Army Sustainment Command Distribution Management Center, addresses an audience of veterans and their families during a Memorial Day ceremony at American Legion Post 569, in Milan, Ill., May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Col. William Krahling, commander, U.S. Army Sustainment Command Distribution Management Center, addresses an audience of veterans and their families during a Memorial Day ceremony at American Legion Post 569, in Milan, Ill., May 26.

  • Veterans observe flags flying at half-staff in honor of our nation's heroes at the American Legion Post 569 Memorial Day Ceremony in Milan, Ill., May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Veterans observe flags flying at half-staff in honor of our nation's heroes at the American Legion Post 569 Memorial Day Ceremony in Milan, Ill., May 26.

  • The American Legion Post 569 Honor Guard fires a three-round volley as the audience looks on during a Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Post in Milan, Ill., May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    The American Legion Post 569 Honor Guard fires a three-round volley as the audience looks on during a Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Post in Milan, Ill., May 26.

  • Sgt. Maj. Douglas Martin, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, speaks to a crowd of about 200 people at a Memorial Day ceremony in Galva, Ill., May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Sgt. Maj. Douglas Martin, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, speaks to a crowd of about 200 people at a Memorial Day ceremony in Galva, Ill., May 26.

  • The Honor Guard from American Legion Post 45 conduct a rifle salute in Galva, Ill.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    The Honor Guard from American Legion Post 45 conduct a rifle salute in Galva, Ill.

  • Wade Abbott, commander of American Legion Post 45, talks with Sgt. Maj. Douglas Martin, U.S. Army Sustainment Command following the Memorial Day ceremony in Galva, Ill., May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Wade Abbott, commander of American Legion Post 45, talks with Sgt. Maj. Douglas Martin, U.S. Army Sustainment Command following the Memorial Day ceremony in Galva, Ill., May 26.

  • 1st Sgt. Previn Parker, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, addresses a group of residents at the Riverfront Park in Sabula, Iowa, during the
Memorial Day service May 26. Sabula's American Legion Post 74 hosted the event.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    1st Sgt. Previn Parker, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, addresses a group of residents at the Riverfront Park in Sabula, Iowa, during the Memorial Day service May 26. Sabula's American Legion Post 74 hosted the...

  • 1st Sgt. Previn Parker, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, addresses a group of residents at the Riverfront Park in Sabula, Iowa, during the
Memorial Day service May 26. Sabula's American Legion Post 74 hosted the event.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    1st Sgt. Previn Parker, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, addresses a group of residents at the Riverfront Park in Sabula, Iowa, during the Memorial Day service May 26. Sabula's American Legion Post 74 hosted the...

  • This toddler, Jackson Phillis, along with other volunteers, places a U.S. flag May 22 at Rock Island National Cemetery's headstones of fallen service members for Memorial Day. This cemetery, located on Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., was established in 1863 and is one of the 20 oldest national cemeteries.  The cemetery covers 70 acres and has about 29,000 burials.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    This toddler, Jackson Phillis, along with other volunteers, places a U.S. flag May 22 at Rock Island National Cemetery's headstones of fallen service members for Memorial Day. This cemetery, located on Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., was established in 1863...

  • Members of American Legion Post 602 from Preston, Iowa, render a gun salute in honor of the fallen during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Preston Cemetery, May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Members of American Legion Post 602 from Preston, Iowa, render a gun salute in honor of the fallen during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Preston Cemetery, May 26.

  • Members of the Preston, Iowa, community gather at the Preston Cemetery before a Memorial Day ceremony, May 26. The Preston cemetery was lined with large American flags. American Legion Post 602's honor guard rendered a salute in honor of the fallen.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Members of the Preston, Iowa, community gather at the Preston Cemetery before a Memorial Day ceremony, May 26. The Preston cemetery was lined with large American flags. American Legion Post 602's honor guard rendered a salute in honor of the fallen.

  • The American Legion Post 532 Honor Guard conducts a rifle salute prior to the playing of Taps by Rich Atwood, a member of American Legion Post 26 in Davenport.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    The American Legion Post 532 Honor Guard conducts a rifle salute prior to the playing of Taps by Rich Atwood, a member of American Legion Post 26 in Davenport.

  • Hero Street Chapter 4 of the Mexican American Veterans Association provides the Honor Guard Rifle Salute for the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Hero Street Memorial Park in Silvis, Ill., May 26. Hundreds of people attended the event.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Hero Street Chapter 4 of the Mexican American Veterans Association provides the Honor Guard Rifle Salute for the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Hero Street Memorial Park in Silvis, Ill., May 26. Hundreds of people attended the event.

  • Members of American Legion Post 677 from Miles, Iowa, post the American flag as audience members stand during a Memorial Day ceremony at Easton Valley High School in Miles, May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Members of American Legion Post 677 from Miles, Iowa, post the American flag as audience members stand during a Memorial Day ceremony at Easton Valley High School in Miles, May 26.

  • Sgt. Maj. Brian Marone, senior enlisted adviser of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command's Distribution Management Center, talks with a member of American Legion Post 677 after a Memorial Day ceremony in Miles, Iowa, May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Sgt. Maj. Brian Marone, senior enlisted adviser of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command's Distribution Management Center, talks with a member of American Legion Post 677 after a Memorial Day ceremony in Miles, Iowa, May 26.

  • World War II veteran Fred (Rocky) Bess, salutes during the singing of the service medley at the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill.  He was one of three World War II veterans who attended the Memorial Day ceremony. An estimated 200 people attended the event.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    World War II veteran Fred (Rocky) Bess, salutes during the singing of the service medley at the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill. He was one of three World War II veterans who attended the Memorial Day ceremony. An estimated 200 people attended...

  • World War II Navy veteran Merton Loomis salutes during the singing of the service medley. He was one of three World War II veterans who attended the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill. About 200 people attended the event.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    World War II Navy veteran Merton Loomis salutes during the singing of the service medley. He was one of three World War II veterans who attended the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill. About 200 people attended the event.

  • Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2223 and American Legion Post 148 provide an honor guard rifle salute and Taps to close the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2223 and American Legion Post 148 provide an honor guard rifle salute and Taps to close the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill.

  • Commander Paul Mayer (center), American Legion Post 148,  looks on as Lt. Col. Frank Gilberston,  Army Sustainment Command,  speaks with Vietnam veteran James Ritter following the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill., May 26. Ritter served in the Army from 1967 to 1969.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Commander Paul Mayer (center), American Legion Post 148, looks on as Lt. Col. Frank Gilberston, Army Sustainment Command, speaks with Vietnam veteran James Ritter following the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill., May 26. Ritter served in the...

  • Lt. Col. Frank Gilberston, U.S. Army Sustainment Command,  speaks with World War II veterans Fred (Rocky) Bess (center) and Ed Sedlak following the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill., May 26. Bess served in the U.S. Marine Corp on Iwo Jima and Navy veteran Sedlak served aboard an LST in the Pacific theater.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Lt. Col. Frank Gilberston, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, speaks with World War II veterans Fred (Rocky) Bess (center) and Ed Sedlak following the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill., May 26. Bess served in the U.S. Marine Corp on Iwo Jima and Navy...

  • Lt. Col. Frank Gilberston, U.S. Army Sustainment Command,  speaks with World War II Navy veteran Merton Loomis following the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill., May 26. Loomis was one of three World War II veterans who attended the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill. An estimated 200 people attended the event.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Lt. Col. Frank Gilberston, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, speaks with World War II Navy veteran Merton Loomis following the Memorial Day ceremony in Savanna, Ill., May 26. Loomis was one of three World War II veterans who attended the Memorial Day...

  • Col. Scott Smith, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., addresses about 75 people attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Donahue, Iowa, May 26, in Allen's Grove Cemetery.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Col. Scott Smith, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., addresses about 75 people attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Donahue, Iowa, May 26, in Allen's Grove Cemetery.

  • Madison Knoche, 11, of Donahue's John Glenn Elementary School, presents her thoughts on the American flag at the Memorial Day ceremony in Donahue, Iowa, May 26.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Madison Knoche, 11, of Donahue's John Glenn Elementary School, presents her thoughts on the American flag at the Memorial Day ceremony in Donahue, Iowa, May 26.

  • Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Melissa Judkins, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., places U.S. flags at the graves of veterans buried at Rock Island National Cemetery May 22 in preparation for the Memorial Day ceremony on May 26. This cemetery, established in 1863, is one of the 20 oldest national cemeteries. The cemetery covers 70 acres and has about 29,000 burials.

    ASC supports Memorial Day events

    Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Melissa Judkins, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., places U.S. flags at the graves of veterans buried at Rock Island National Cemetery May 22 in preparation for the Memorial Day ceremony on May 26. This cemetery, established in...

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Army Sustainment Command officers and noncommissioned officers fanned out over Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois speaking at numerous Memorial Day events during the holiday weekend May 24-26.

Silvis, Ill.

Maj. Gen. John Wharton, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command and senior mission commander of Rock Island Arsenal, spoke at a Memorial Day Ceremony at Hero Street Memorial Park in Silvis, Ill., May 24. Silvis mayor, Tom Conrad; District 17 Congresswoman, Cheri Bustos; and First Ward Representative, Alderman Robert Cervantes also spoke.

"Here in Silvis, at Hero Street, you've done much more than reserve a day or a weekend to remember the fallen. You've built a special place along the busiest thoroughfare in town that stands as a permanent reminder of the eight heroes of Hero Street, and that connects anyone who visits here with the heroes of Hero Street and -- in a larger sense -- that connects all Americans with all of those who paid the ultimate price so that we could live free, Wharton said. "The brave patriots of Hero Street are among the more than 1.3 million Americans who have given their lives in all of the nation's wars and conflicts since we fought for our independence during the Revolutionary War.

"…There are holes in our hearts that can never be filled. The loved ones who are left to remember the fallen will always feel the pain of loss, no matter how many years have passed," Wharton said. On all days -- but on Memorial Day above all others -- we should remember those who still grieve, comfort them, and offer them sincere sympathy from the very bottom of our hearts."

Miles, Iowa

Members of American Legion Post 677 in Miles, Iowa, remembered the fallen during a Memorial Day ceremony in Miles, Iowa, May 26. Sgt. Maj. Brian Marone, Distribution Management Center senior enlisted adviser, was the keynote speaker.
Approximately 50 people gathered in the gymnasium at Easton Valley High School to witness the ceremony hosted by the American Legion.

Marone began by thanking the members of the American Legion for inviting him to speak.
"Over the years, the Memorial Day weekend has become the unofficial start of summer, and of the summer travel and vacation season," said Marone. "But you and I, all of us who came to this observance today or who took the time to attend similar observances in other communities across America, know that this holiday has a much deeper meaning and a solemn purpose."
Legionnaires posted the colors to the front of the room and rendered honors before sitting in front of the audience. Local high school students sang the National Anthem and everyone then offered a moment of silence for those who have passed.

Miles is a town of nearly 500 people approximately one hour north of Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

Savanna, Ill.

More than 200 spectators gathered in Savanna, Ill. to hear Lt. Col. Frank Gilbertson, ASC Strategic Planning Office, speak at the Savanna, Ill., Memorial Day ceremony, May 26.

Hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2223 and American Legion Post 148, the ceremony was moved from the Savanna Township Cemetery to the West Carol Primary School due threatening weather. Gary Abney, Savanna Assembly of God Church, provided the invocation and the "Men of Calvary" choir sang the national anthem, the service medley and God Bless America.

"Unique to Memorial Day, the flag is set at half-staff until noon," Gilbertson said. "Flying the flag at half-staff is a well-known gesture of mourning -- and so, in the early hours of Memorial Day, we as a nation collectively mourn all of the 1.3 million individuals who died in uniform."

Emotions flowed throughout the audience as he spoke about mourning for "the young Soldier who lost his life earlier this year while patrolling a distant mountain in Afghanistan."

"Then, at noon on Memorial Day, the flag should be raised to the top," Gilbertson said. "A high-flying flag on Memorial Day afternoon reminds us that those who gave their lives did not die in vain. Because of what they did for us, we enjoy the blessings of freedoms, and all of the advantages that come with living in this great nation. When we salute the flag, we salute them," he said.

Commander Paul Mayer, American Legion Post 148, and Commander Bruce Mottin, VFW Post 2223, presented a memorial wreath that was later moved to the veteran's monument at the Savanna Township Cemetery.

Members of the VFW and American Legion provided an honor guard rifle salute and taps to close the ceremony.

Donahue, Iowa

Nestled in the rolling farmland about 13 miles northwest of Davenport, Iowa, in the town of Donahue, about 75 people came out to honor the fallen at nearby Allen's Grove Cemetery, May 26.

Donahue, a small farming community, has about 350 residents.

The ceremony, organized by American Legion Post 532, started at 10:30 a.m. and even featured a real bugler playing "Taps." The post is commanded by Fred Van Hoozier, a Navy veteran of the Korean War, who served from 1951 to 1955.

Col. Scott Smith, Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., addressed attendees with a speech that focused on the sacrifices the fallen heroes from previous wars made.

Quoting former President Ronald Reagan, Smith said: "Most of those who died in defense of our country were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living, and the one they would've lived. They gave up everything for their country, for us. All we can do is remember."

Smith, a 28-year veteran, heads up Information Management at ASC.

He told of the thankful citizens across the United States and other areas of the world, who honor the "best and noblest" who are no longer here today.

"Memorial Day is a day of conflicting emotions for each of us; a blend of pride and mournfulness, gratitude and loss, and a deep abiding sense of patriotism," Smith said.

Smith also addressed the importance of keeping Memorial Day ceremonies alive and well.

"As we speak of the present and the distant past, it is up to us to make sure the legacy of our nation's fallen is passed on from this generation to the next, and then on to all generations beyond," Smith said. "We must ensure the youth of tomorrow are aware and understand of whom it is they should likewise honor … and exactly why they should honor them."

With that in mind, Madison Knoche, 11, of Donahue's John Glenn Elementary, presented her thoughts on what she considers the most important symbol in the world -- the American flag.

"The American flag represents our country and who we are," Knoche said. "It stands for freedom and we get to be ourselves; that's where the phrase "I'm proud to be an American" comes from, she said.

"The colors on the American flag aren't just colored fabric, they actually mean something. White stands for purity and innocence. Red represents hardiness and valor, and the last color, which is blue, symbolizes justice, perseverance, and vigilance," Knoche explained.

Preston, Iowa

Members of American Legion Post 602 in Preston, Iowa, remembered the fallen during Memorial Day ceremonies at two locations in and near Preston, May 26. Sgt. Maj. Brian Marone, Distribution Management Center senior enlisted adviser, was the keynote speaker.
Approximately 150 people attended the events.

Crowds first gathered at the Preston Cemetery which was lined with American flags to watch members of Post 602 raise the cemetery colors from half-staff. Once the flag was raised, the honor guard rendered a gun salute before Taps was played.

Next, the legionnaires and community members drove into town for the second half of the day's ceremony. Members of Post 602 and Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of America members, marched the American flag from the American Legion clubhouse to the city center, approximately a football field's length. Once there, the American flag was raised from half-staff and the honor guard conducted a gun salute.

Community members then moved into the town hall building where the local high school band played Amazing Grace and Marone delivered his speech.

Preston is a town of less than 1,000 people approximately one hour north of Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

Clermont, Iowa

Staff Sgt. Kevin Hopson, ASC badging officer, spoke at the Clermont Memorial Day Service in Lincoln Park, May 26. The event, organized by the Sheehan-Olson American Legion Post 375 of Clermont, Iowa, also featured a 10-year-old boy who read his essay about the U.S. Flag, a reading of the nearly 300 names of Clermont residents who had died serving their country, and a 21 gun salute honoring the fallen.

Milan, Ill.

Col. William Krahling, commander of ASC's Distribution Management Center, spoke at the Milan American Legion Post 569 Memorial Day Observance, May 26. He emphasized sacrifices made by service members and told a story about a major he served with who was selected to attend the Command General Staff College but declined due to his wife's illness.

Galva, Ill.

Sgt. Maj. Douglas Martin, Operations sergeant major the ASC deputy commanding general, spoke at the Galva, Ill., Memorial Day Commemoration at the Galva Cemetery, May 26.

"Over the years, Memorial Day weekend has become known as the unofficial start of summer," Martin said. "But to many of us, it has a much deeper and solemn meaning."

Sabula, Iowa

To round things out, 1st Sgt. Previn Parker, first sergeant for ASC's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, spoke at the City of Sabula, Iowa, Memorial Day Service at Riverfront Park May 26.

Additional photos from the above events can be viewed/downloaded at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/army_sustainment_command/collections/72157644482082247/

Editors Note: The following individuals contributed to this report: Dan Carlson, Jon Connor, Galen Putnam, Maj. Yokeitha Ramey, Bonnie Seals, Greg Wilson, Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Wright.

Page last updated Thu May 29th, 2014 at 00:00