Byron Veterans Memorial dedication Nov. 22


BYRON – All Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend the Byron Veterans Memorial Dedication on Monday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Byron Township Cemetery (405 E. 5th St.).

The short program will include performances by Byron High School Band and Choir members, flag raising, 21-gun salute, echo taps, benediction and laying of the wreath by area American Legion and VFW members, guest speakers are Byron resident Retired Brigadier General, Steven Huber, Byron High School graduate and career Air Force officer, Major Kendall Smith, and Vietnam Veteran, Medal of Honor Recipient, and author, Allen J. Lynch. Seating will be provided.

The guest speakers will be brief at the dedication, but all available to mingle at a complimentary cider and donuts reception immediately after (6:30 p.m.), hosted by and at the Byron Museum of History: 110 N Union St.

There will be limited street parking and no parking in the cemetery. Byron schools are generously offering bus shuttles from the BHS Pool Doors (northeast side of the school: 325 N. Colfax), departing at 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. After the dedication, the shuttles will run repeatedly from the cemetery to the museum and high school.

If you are unable to attend the Dedication in-person, you can watch it “Live” on Facebook: Byron Cemetery Veterans Memorial Renovation. You can also see photos and videos, learn more about the project, and watch progress on the Facebook page.

When planning the renovation of the over 30-year old Byron Veterans Memorial Renovation began in late summer 2019, a professional artist in NC, Jim Stillwell, volunteered to create a rendering from our general design ideas and photos of the old Memorial. Everything came to a halt with COVID in 2020.

Once execution started in 2021, the project evolved with a larger concrete footprint, additional flagpole, new granite pieces, more extensive lighting, etc. The artist rendering gave us all a 'vision' or visual of what the Memorial could be. Today, with Incredible Community support, we have exceeded that vision.

There are a few steps to complete (installing two granite benches and battlefield crosses, sandblasting, and placing military flag granite monuments, and receiving the large granite Donor Recognition monument (due to pandemic supply chain delays, it is on a ship somewhere).

We have only been actively working on this project for 5 1/2 months and made such Amazing progress. This is what happens when our community collaborates and supports each other.  Fundraising began on May 15th and deconstruction on June 17th.

This entire project is possible due to a generous community and volunteers. Donations are still needed and appreciated. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to: Kiwanis Club of Byron Foundation, Attn: Veterans Memorial, PO Box 555, Byron, IL 61010.  Credit card donations can be made online via the Facebook page: Byron Cemetery Veterans Memorial Renovation. All Individuals, civic groups, and businesses who donated will be listed on the granite donor recognition display. Thank you for Honoring those who have served our country!

For questions, please contact Michelle: 815-985-5102 or [email protected]

The donor monument will read: “In recognition of a generous Byron area Community who donated time, talent, and financial gifts to celebrate and honor America's Veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

In Thanksgiving and prayer, we remember the stories of those who have served in war or peace…whether no longer with us, or who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.”

 

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