The Memorial Day Parade kicks off annually at the corner of Cook & Main Streets, where a large Veteran Memorial sits surrounded by flags this time of year. Members of the local Veteran’s organizations were joined by Village of Barrington officials, Police, and Fire Departments. Barrington Middle School Marching Band followed, playing patriotic tunes, with local Boy & Girl Scouts of all ages right behind them.
At the tail end of the parade is the Barrington High School Marching Band who wore their old uniforms for the last time. The Barrington High School Fine Arts Boosters have helped fund new uniforms that will debut at the start of the 2017/2018 school year.
Main Street and Dundee Avenues were lined with families who followed the BHS Marching Band onto Monument Avenue into Evergreen Cemetery. Boy Scouts of all ages lined the Avenue saluting the crowd while standing next to large American Flags.
Participants and the public created a circle around the large Civil War Memorial Monument at the top of the hill while large speakers pumped out the popular World War I tune, A Long Way to Tipperary.
Barrington VFW Post #7706 led the annual Memorial Day event. Former Post Commander Paul Corwin kicked-off the event by playing the 1917 hit composed by George M Cohen, ‘Over There’, popular during both World War I and World War II.
The theme of this year’s Memorial Day event in the Village of Barrington was the 100th Anniversary of the United States entering World War I. Village President Karen Darch noted the lives lost to military action in the past century.
“25% of all males in the United States served in World War I, 116,000 lost their lives,” Village President Darch shared. “Over 500,000 have since given their lives in battle.”
Barrington History Museum Volunteer Director Michael J Harkins was a guest speaker adding specific information about those who served and lost their lives from the Barrington community.
A highlight every year is the reading of Flander’s Field, a poem written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during the First World War.
Each year, Barrington VFW Post 7706 reads names if there are any veterans recently lost while serving in the military. Family members of those lost and scout troop members help honor each name called, by placing flowers in a ‘Tribute to Poppies’ vase at the podium in front of the Civil War Memorial Monument.
The event closes with a traditional gun salute and the playing of taps by two echoing buglers.