AMVETS Post 140 and the Bond Country Veterans Memorial Committee hold their 22nd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Veterans Day – Monday, November 11th. The day will begin with changing of the flags at the Bond County Veterans Memorial on the courthouse grounds at 9 AM. The ceremony will begin at 11 AM at the Greenville First United Methodist Church. The program will highlight the Bond County Veterans Memorial, dedicated on Veterans Day 1997 to honor all those from the Bond County area who served in the military. The local AMVETS Post will be joined by other County Veterans Organizations in conducting the ceremony.
The emcee will be the Honorable Judge John Knight Retired and the program will include prayers by John Gillard and Rev. Wayne Pierce. Music will be provided by Greenville High School Chorus conducted by Megan McPeak and Greenville Elementary Chorus conducted by Kim Lugge. There will also be a few selections by the well-known Nomads vocal group. The guest speaker will be Jean Henning, 1st Vice Commander of the Illinois Department of AMVETS.
The ceremony will also include The Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout Troop 57, Posting of the Colors, and 21 Gun Salute by area Veterans Organizations. Taps will be played by Mike Gouge.
The Bond County Veterans Memorial, located on the west side of the Court House Square, was constructed in 1997 and was dedicated on Veterans Day of that year by AMVETS Post 140. It was the project of the local AMVETS post to Honor, Remember and Respect those from the Bond County area who served in the Nation’s Military.
The cost of the memorial was raised by the many cookouts held by AMVETS Post 140 in conjunction with numerus community activities held in downtown Greenville. There were also many personal donations towards the cost. But the biggest contribution for a debt-free project was the introduction of the Memorial Bricks. The bricks were designed to display the veteran’s name, rank, branch of service and any conflict or war they might have served in. The purpose was to display as much information on the veteran’s service as possible. There were over 600 bricks displayed at the memorial in the first two years. There are currently around 1,090 bricks on display. Occasionally some bricks are marked with an American Flag to signify the veteran’s participation in a battle or a war being remembered during that particular time.
There are applications to purchase bricks located at the local banks and the Bond County Court House Annex. Bricks can be purchased any time of the year but will only be placed at the memorial twice a year, Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The applications must be filled out completely and accompanied with a copy of the veteran’s DD214, Veterans discharge papers. The veteran has to have lived in Bond County for at least five years or under certain circumstances be approved by the Veterans Memorial Committee. The Veteran does not have to be deceased. This is a living memorial and available to all veterans who wish to apply. The application must also be accompanied by $100.00. The bricks can be purchased by a family member, a friend, an organization or a loved one.
John Gillard is in charge of The Memorial Brick Program and can be reached at 618-664-9342.
Questions about the memorial or bricks can be answered by any Memorial Committeeman Committee Members are Chairman Tony Koonce, Financial Secretary Bill Johnston, Member Honorable Judge John Knight, Member John Gillard and Member Lynn Craig.