Memorial Day was a day to remember and a day to celebrate for many across the River Bend on Monday. Parades began the day in Alton and Bethalto, and a solemn service at sunset closed out the holiday at the Alton National Cemetery. Thousands turned out for the 145th Alton Memorial Day parade through Upper Alton, believed to be the oldest Memorial Day parade in the country.
Veterans, church groups, scouts, businesses and politicians were all represented in the parade on a very warm Memorial Day morning. The parade was broadcast live on Z-1570. Bethalto has been holding a parade for more than 50 years and it again stepped off through town and ended with a service at the Roselawn Cemetery. Last evening, a sunset Memorial Day service was held at the National Cemetery on Pearl Street in Alton. It's one of the only sunset services held at a National Cemetery in the country, and was the 7th consecutive year for the event at the cemetery that volunteers helped bring back to recognition after years of neglect.