Guide to Memorial Day celebrations in the Heartland

Memorial Day is what most would call the official kick-off to the summer season.

It’s also a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Here’s a closer look at ways to celebrate in the Heartland.




The Missouri State Veterans Cemetery at Bloomfield will hold its annual Memorial Day Program. The program will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 27 at the Committal Shelter Plaza in the cemetery. Lieutenant Colonel Bob Thrower, retired from the U.S. Army, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Thrower is a Dexter native who spent 20 years on active duty. The cemetery is the final resting place for many veterans, including former Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action or Killed in Action. Families and friends of those interred, as well as the general public, are invited to attend to help honor all veterans.

Cape Girardeau

  • Honor the sacrifices of our military, firefighters, police and first responders during Carry the Load’s 5th Annual March to the River. on Saturday, May 25. Participants are asked to meet at the pavilion in downtown Cape Girardeau from 7:45 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. for registration, coffee and donuts. There will be shuttle rides out to Cape County Park. The walk will begin at 9 a.m. at the Flag and Freedom Rock. The event will conclude with a Vietnam Veterans pinning ceremony.
  • Cannon fire, rifle demonstrations, uninformed hoop-skirted re-enactors bring the Civil War to life at Fort D Memorial Day Living History DemonstrationsMay 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Constructed during the beginning of the Civil War in the summer of 1861, Fort D is the only remaining fort, out of four Civil War forts, that once protected the city of Cape Girardeau from Confederate attack. The earthwork walls of the fort remain intact and signage throughout the fort’s grounds recount the history of Fort D. Step back in time at historic Fort D and experience anew the echoes of a now distant war that pitted brother against brother.
  • A Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 27 at the Osage Centre beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Cape Municipal Band will play from 10:30-11:00 a.m. followed by the Memorial Day Service.


Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 27. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m.


The community of Sikeston will host their annual Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 27, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Sikeston Veterans Park (In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held at First Christian Church). Honored guest and speaker will be Chief Master Sergeant Jeffrey Sandusky, United States Air Force (RET). Local veterans from the VFW and American Legion along with the Sikeston National Guard will provide the 21 gun salute.



  • Carbondale’s Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m. at the historic Woodlawn Cemetery. It will take place regardless of inclement weather. Ret. Maj. General Johnny R. Miller will be the keynote speaker. Other participants include the Carbondale Police and Fire Honor Guard, Carbondale Preservation Commission, Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion Women’s Auxiliary and 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry.


Marion V.F.W. Pot 1301 and the Williamson County Historical Society will co-host a Memorial Day Ceremony and Celebration of Goddard Chapel. Ceremonies will take place on Monday, May 27, at 11 a.m. in the Rosehill Cemetery at the flag poles south of the chapel. That’s at the intersection of Route 37 North and DeYoung Street. Further, the services will include honoring fallen soldiers and the history of the Goddard Memorial Chapel. Participants should bring own lawn chairs.




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