Honoring the fallen soldier

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ROCHELLE — Rochelle VFW Post 3878 held its annual Memorial Day service at Lawnridge Cemetery Monday morning.

Although the ceremony was shorter this year due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the message delivered remained the same as in years past — honoring fallen soldiers.

Cars lined the drive at the cemetery to hear the message, many guests choosing to stay in their vehicles, while some stood outside their vehicles while wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows spoke to the crowd about the true meaning of Memorial Day.

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“Memorial Day is a day unlike any other. Since 1868 we have come together in our communities, cities and towns, to place flowers and flags on the graves of those who have given their last full measure of devotion to our country,” he said. “We have come here to remember and honor those who have done their duty, and never asked for anything in return other than to be respected and remembered for doing their duty of protecting our freedom and our way of life. In doing so, millions of these soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice, their life, for our freedom.”

Commander of the Rochelle American Legion Post 1304, Chuck Roberts, also spoke during the service. The names of 25 fellow compatriots from VFW Post 3878 who have passed away during the past year were also read.

The shortened ceremony was concluded with a 21-gun salute by the Honor Guard.