ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- U.S. Army Sustainment Command Soldiers travelled to 14 locations throughout Illinois and Iowa, May 28-30, in support of community Memorial Day events.

They gave speeches and participated in ceremonies while representing the command and the Army.

Silvis, Illinois

Col. Grant Morris, deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7 (Operations), spoke at two Hero Street ceremonies, May 28. Over 300 people attended the events. In his remarks, Morris stressed the need to remember those who paid for our freedom with their lives.

Sumner, Iowa

George Eaton, ASC historian, spoke at an event in Sumner, Iowa, May 30, in honor of Memorial Day. The event was hosted by the Thomas E. Woods American Legion and began with a flag raising ceremony followed by a parade to the Union Mound Cemetery. At the cemetery the names of all Sumner residents killed in action from World War I to present were read.

Davenport, Iowa

Col. Lance Koenig, chief of staff, spoke at a Memorial Day service at Memorial Park in Davenport, May 29. The event was hosted by the All Veterans Memorial Association and featured a wreath laying ceremony. Military Explorers provided the color guard.

Davenport, Iowa

Lt. Col. Brad Cook, inspector general, provided the key note remarks at the Scott County Historical Society in Davenport, May 30, which has honored Memorial Day with a ceremony every year since 1919. In his remarks, Cook discussed the history of Memorial Day and the tradition of flying the flag at half-staff on Memorial Day. "The respect we pay to the American flag--and the sense of great patriotism and pride we feel when we see the flag flying high--are owed in equal measure to those who sacrificed all they had on behalf of this great nation and its people."

Dixon, Illinois

Col. Maureen Kohn, staff judge advocate, participated in the Dixon Memorial Day parade and ceremony, May 30, providing key note remarks following the parade. Approximately 1,500 members of the community and surrounding area honored veterans who died while in service to the nation.

Lanarck, Illinois

Maj. Kyle Carter, ASC, provided keynote remarks during the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 357 Memorial Day service at the Veteran's Memorial in Lanarck, Illinois, May 30.

Donahue, Iowa

About 50 community members paid their respects to fallen military while gathered among headstones at the Donahue American Legion Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 30.
Donahue, Iowa, has a population of about 350 people and is a small farming town about 10 miles north of Davenport, Iowa.

Lt. Col. Frank Gilbertson, combatant command desk chief, served as the keynote speaker.

"The families who display a folded American flag in their homes are never really free of America's wars," he said, referring to family members of those who have been killed or lost while serving. "The fallen hover silently around them, springing into their thoughts when they least expect it. They always will."

The American Legion Post 532 hosted the event. Fred Van Hoosier, the post's commander, officiated the ceremony.

Tina Arns, chaplain, Post 532, provided the opening prayers, and Rhea Sherman provided the closing prayer. Darren Keppy and Lloyd Keppy, both Post 532 members, raised the flag on a pole located in the middle of the cemetery. C. J. Albertson sang the Star-Spangled Banner, and Shirley Forari placed a wreath at the base of the flagpole.

During the ceremony, Ayden Golden, a fifth grader from John Glen Elementary School, read his essay written for a contest with a theme of, "What our flag means to me." Post 532 selected Golden's essay as the first place winner for their district.

Post 532's firing squad performed a 21-gun salute in honor of the fallen, and Rich Atwood, a member of the Davenport Post 26 American Legion, played taps.

Galva, Illinois

About 35 miles southeast of the Quad Cities, Maj. Lanelle Pickett Jr. of ASC's Distribution Management Command served as the guest speaker in Galva, Illinois, May 30. The ceremony, held in the Galva Cemetery outside of town, was hosted by the Hagberg-Hamlin American Legion Post 45.

Galva is a city with about 2,600 residents and founded in 1854 with heavy Scandinavian ancestry.
Picket spoke of how a death of a service member affects many others. Those who died, he said, left behind grieving parents, spouses, children -- some who never knew the fallen parent -- along with close friends and communities.

Aric Bulhorn sang the national anthem and Olof Collinson bugled taps.
Post 45 also hosted several other ceremonies that day at nearby Bishop Hill Cemetery, St. John Catholic Cemetery in rural Galva and LaFayette Cemetery in adjacent Stark County.

Preston, Iowa

Master Sgt. Larry Howard Jr., ASC, spoke in front of an audience of approximately 70 during a Memorial Day service in Preston, Iowa, May 30.

"Brave men and women left the safety of their sovereign soil to defeat tyrants, ensure justice and fulfill the promise of safety and security for our citizens and the global community," said Howard. "Their lives were dedicated not to conflict or death, but to compassion and life."

Howard, accompanied by his wife, Sgt. 1st Class Maquestia Howard and their daughter, fellowshipped with the members of the Preston and Miles American Legions, the local boy scouts troop and other community members at a luncheon at the Preston American Legion following the event. Prior to the ceremony, the community gathered at the local cemetery to honor fallen veterans.

Ottawa, Illinois

Lt. Col. Cheryl Strange, ASC, spoke at the Ottawa, Illinois Memorial Day commemoration in Ottawa, May 30. During the ceremony, veterans and service members placed the 50 state flags on a large field.

Reynolds, Illinois

Sgt. Maj. Jurgen Williams, Support Operations, provided the keynote speech at the Reynolds American Legion Memorial Day service in Reynolds, Illinois, May 30. As part of the ceremony, the American Legion posted the colors and the Women's Auxiliary Corps presented awards to local children for patriotism.

"Memorial Day is a day to celebrate patriotism and to recognize the price that those in uniform may have to pay to keep us safe," said Williams. "From the Revolutionary War, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, individuals from generation after generation have been called on to defend our nation and the freedom we all enjoy."

Milan, Illinois

Maj. Phillip Moore, ASC, spoke in front of an audience of approximately 60 people during a Memorial Day service in Milan, Illinois, May 30.

"This generation knows there are some things worth dying for," said Moore. "Whether it is country, democracy, liberty, freedom of speech or the ability to worship as we choose without fear of prejudice or persecution."

Moore, accompanied by his wife Della, fellowshipped with veterans and other community members at a luncheon at the Milan American Legion Post 569 following the service. The bugler and salute team were provided by the Legion.

East Moline, Illinois

Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, spoke to an audience of about 60 area residents at the American Legion Post 227 in East Moline, May 30. O'Connell stressed that we must remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and that we must carry on to defend our great nation. Post Commander Robert Baecke hosted the event; Deacon James Briggs, St. Anne Parish, provided the invocation and benediction; Alex Verschoore, United Township High School, played the national anthem and God Bless America; East Moline American Legion Post 227 honor guard provided a rifle salute.