Group raising funds for memorial renovation


BYRON – In 2019 a committee of Byron community members representing Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Club, Boy Scouts, the Byron Township and American Legion formed to renovate the Byron Cemetery Veterans Memorial at 405 E. 5th Street.

Unfortunately, the pandemic halted progress through 2020, but it is now moving forward.

The group consulted local Veterans, the National Office of The American Legion, tradesmen, and a professional military artist to assist. Many elements of the current design will remain, like the battlefield crosses, memorial benches, granite memorial marker stones and WWII howitzer.

Some important additions will be poles and flags for Coast Guard, POW/MIA and Merchant Marines, 24/7 lighting, replacing the broken and sinking asphalt with concrete and changing the mulch to grass. It will be an updated, maintenance free oasis for families to visit and remember their loved ones.

Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, commemorates all veterans of the U.S. military. With your help th committee would like to have renovations complete by early fall and host the 2021 Veterans Day celebration on the new memorial.

To meet the Veterans Day deadline, the goal is to raise all funds by July 1st.  Once donations are collected to fund the project, construction will begin.

The total cost of the project is $18,280. This reflects increases from some vendors post-pandemic. As of May 30th, with donations from Byron Kiwanis, Byron Rotary, Byron Bank, Loomis International, Edward Jones, All-American Flag Company, and individual community members, we only need to raise $8,700.

Community members are also being generous with their time and talent. Volunteers include a retired electrical contractor, a third-generation brick layer, civic group members, and Exelon employees from E-MAC (Exelon Militaries Actively Connected).

On our Facebook page (Byron Cemetery Veterans Memorial Renovation) you can learn more about the project, find updates and click on a link to donate online.

Tax-deductible donations can also be mailed to: Kiwanis Club of Byron Foundation, Attn: Veterans Memorial, PO Box 555, Byron, IL 61010.

We appreciate your time and consideration and hope you join us in honoring veterans. For questions, please contact Michelle: 815-985-5102 or