Parades and patriotism: Area full of Memorial Day weekend events-from the Janesville Gazette

Here is a list of things to do this weekend!  Info provided via the Janesville Gazette!  There should be plenty of great things happening in Janesville!


Sunday, May 30

-- There will be a 7 p.m. ceremony at the Company A 192 Tank Battalion Monument at the Corn Exchange, corner of West Milwaukee and South Franklin streets, downtown Janesville.

The program will honor all veterans and remember the sacrifices of the tank company heroes who endured the Bataan Death March and Japanese imprisonment during World War II.

Jim Opolony, of the Bataan Commemorative Research Project, will be the keynote speaker. The award-winning Web project documents all the companies of the 192nd Tank Battalion and their experiences before, during and after the Bataan Death March, prison camps and Hell Ships of the World War II Pacific Theater. He teaches at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill, is a facilitator of the project, along with several teachers and many students at the school. Maywood is the home of Company B of the tank company.

Janesville 99 children and grandchildren will participate in the ceremony. A flag ceremony will be conducted to honor Louis Wallisch, the last of the Janesville 99, who died last fall.

Monday, May 31

-- An 8 a.m. ceremony at the veterans' section of Oak Hill Cemetery, 1725 N. Washington St.

Lauren O'Dell, a Craig High School senior and winner of the VFW Voice of Democracy contest, will speak.

Brian Hansen will sing. Janesville Patriotic society members will make up the color guard and rifle squad. A wreath will be placed and "Taps" will be played in remembrance of veterans who gave their lives defending this country.

-- An 11 a.m. parade that will start at the corner of High and Milwaukee streets, then proceed on Milwaukee Street to Main Street and into Traxler Park.

Marching in the parade will be members of Parker and Craig high school bands; a veterans honor guard and rifle squad; representatives of the Janesville police, fire and Rock County Sheriff's departments, members of patriotic organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the National Guard. A wreath will be placed at the Doughboy Statue and in the Rock River from the Milwaukee Street Bridge in memory of dead members of the armed forces of all wars.

-- At noon, the main and final ceremony of the holiday weekend will take place at Traxler Park.

O'Dell will present "Does America Still Have Heroes?" the title of her winning VFW Voice of Democracy contest essay. The Craig High School senior will graduate in June. She is the daughter of Stephen and Clare O'Dell of Janesville. During high school, she has been active in band, forensics, golf, National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, has achieved academic excellence and will graduate in the top 6 percent of her class. O'Dell volunteers at Mercy Health System, House of Mercy homeless shelter, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, the Janesville School District and with other organizations as need arises. She plans to pursue a career in pharmacy or medicine and will continue her studies this fall at UW-Green Bay.

Also speaking is Ryan Webb on "Memories from the Past," the title of his winning forensics speech.

The Parker High School senior is involved in Parker Playhouse and Teen Book Club. He chose the Vietnam War Memorial as his forensics speech topic this year since this is a trying time in America's history. But he also had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to visit the Vietnam Memorial through the Washington Seminar Field study. With his speech, he won a third-place forensics trophy at the Lodi competition and a gold medal at state.

At this ceremony, the Craig High School Band will play the National Anthem. Brian Hansen will sing. Members of the Janesville Patriotic Society will perform color guard and rifle squad duties plus play "Taps."

Wreaths will be placed in honor of veterans from each of America's wars and conflicts and there will be a flag folding and battlefield crosses ceremony.

Seating is not available, so those wishing to sit during the ceremony are asked to bring lawn chairs.

-- Immediately after the noon service, a lunch will be served at the VFW Clubhouse, 1015 Center Ave., Janesville. It is open to the public.

Julie Press-Raese

Julie Press-Raese

Contact Me

Blog Archives