Two parades and an evening services marked Memorial Day in the Riverbend on Monday. Parades were held in Upper Alton and in Bethalto, while the Alton National Cemetery was the host site of the Sunset Service last night. Thousands of people turned out to remember the fallen.
The majority of the people packed Upper Alton for the 149th annual Alton Memorial Day parade which started at Alton Middle School and moved through Upper Alton, ending at the Oakwood Cemetery. World War II veteran Art Williams of Godfrey was the grand marshal of the Alton parade, helping to lead the way in the hour-long event. Dozens of vehicles, the Alton High Marching 100 and Alton Middle School marching bands, emergency vehicles, scout troops, politicians and veterans participated in the event organized by the East End Improvements Association. In Bethalto, a smaller parade marched from near the Boys and Girls Club to the Roselawn Memory Gardens Cemetery for a closing ceremony. Then last evening, the 11th annual Sunset Service at the Alton National Cemetery closed out the day.