Wreaths across America ceremonies held at 4 local cemeteries


ROCHELLE — Members of the Girl & Boy Scouts, American Legion, VFW, Knights of Columbus, National Guard and the community assisted the Rochelle Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in honoring veterans through ceremonies at four local cemeteries, followed by placing wreaths at veterans' graves.

The ceremony at St. Patrick's Cemetery included a welcome by Regent Laurie Perry, an invocation by chapter Chaplain Mary Lou Kator, the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Scouts, remarks by Mayor John Bearrows, the dedication of ceremonial wreaths for all branches of the Armed Forces (including the new Space Force) by active duty soldiers, veterans, scouts and veterans' families, and was concluded with a closing prayer by Reverend Jesus Dominguez and the playing of Taps.

Similar ceremonies were performed at the other three cemeteries. Through the tremendous generosity of the wider Rochelle and Oregon communities, all known veterans at Daysville Cemetery in Oregon and St. Patrick's Cemetery in Rochelle were honored with wreaths, in addition to portions of Trinity Memory Gardens and Lawnridge Cemetery, achieving more than 450 local wreath sponsorships. The Rochelle Chapter DAR intends to continue expanding its Wreaths across America program with plans underway to honor more veterans and include additional cemeteries in the area.  As a means of jump-starting the sponsorship of wreaths for the 2022 program, Wreaths across America is offering to match any wreath sponsored between Dec 18, 2021 and Jan. 14, 2022 either on-line at https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/IL0136P or mailed in and postmarked by Jan. 14, 2021. Mail in forms may be picked up at the Rochelle & Oregon VFW posts or St. Patrick's Church in Rochelle. Photos from all four of this year's ceremonies and of selected veterans graves may soon be posted on the above website and the Rochelle DAR Facebook Page.