Orland Park Plans Four Day Event To Commemorate Memorial Day

Orland Park Plans Four Day Event To Commemorate Memorial Day
Posted on 04/12/2010

The Village of Orland Park's Memorial Day Ceremonies are poignant tributes to those who have died serving our country. Flags from each of the 50 states billow as they provide a colorful frame for the village's towering memorial, Ara Pace - Place of Peace. Bagpipes wail as lines of veterans file in for the presentation of colors as audience members silently rise to their feet.

This year's ceremony will be the first in almost twenty years without retired US Air Force Colonel Father Leo Lyons who passed away at the age of 87 on February 18, 2010.

"Father Leo never missed one of our ceremonies," said Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "He was a true veteran's veteran and made sure he participated every Memorial Day and Veterans Day," the mayor recalled.

Orland Park's observance of Memorial Day 2010 will span four days with the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears on display in the Jane Barnes Annex of the Orland Park Civic Center from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., May 28 through May 31. Vietnam War era memorabilia will be on display for the four days with guest speakers and presentations planned for each of the days the quilt is in Orland Park.

"The Agent Orange Quilt of Tears was here in October, 2005 when we hosted the Vietnam Moving Wall," said Veterans Commission Chair Tom Dubelbeis. "It's a thought provoking display that takes your breath away as you see individual quilt sections devoted to those who suffer from or have died because of the effects of Agent Orange," Dubelbeis said, himself a Vietnam Veteran.

"Agent Orange has had a devastating effect on our Vietnam Veterans and, to date, is responsible for more deaths than the combat casualties suffered during the Vietnam Conflict," Dubelbeis stressed.

Orland Park's Memorial Day Ceremony will be held Monday, May 31 at 1:00 p.m. at the village's memorial, located in the Village Center at 14700 South Ravinia Avenue. Members of Orland Park Cub Scout Pack 383 will again serve as an honor guard for the procession of veterans.

Veterans Commission Recording Secretary Gail Blummer coordinates the village's military tributes. "There's still time to add veterans' names to Orland Park's memorial," Blummer said, adding that the last day to add a name for the Memorial Day Ceremony is April 30, 2010.

The cost to add a veteran's name is $250. Veterans may be living or deceased and do not have to live in Orland Park. Further information about adding a name is available by calling Blummer at 708/403-6203.

"It's especially touching when a veteran stands as his name is announced as his friends and family smile and applaud," the mayor said.

Immediately following Orland Park's 1:00 p.m. ceremony, John Rowan, National President of the Vietnam Veterans Association will speak of the need for additional veterans' services and funding.

"We're honored to have Mr. Rowan travel to Orland Park from Maryland to address the needs of our region's veterans," McLaughlin said.

Dubelbeis added, "We invite everyone to come to the Civic Center to see the displays and to be a part of Orland Park's Memorial Day tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

"And, even though Father Leo will no longer be here, we know that he'll be with us in spirit," Blummer said, smiling, as she added, "He wouldn't miss this for the world."