The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery lies in the northwestern area of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, approximately 50 miles south of Chicago. Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is named after the 16th President of the United States and founder of the National Cemeteries. In the midst of the Civil War, on July 17, 1862 President Lincoln’s signature enacted the law authorizing the establishment of national cemeteries “… for the soldiers who die in the service of the country.” During the Civil War there were 14 national cemeteries opened pursuant of this legislation. President Lincoln’s legacy is especially important to the people of Illinois, where he worked and lived. Lincoln is remembered for his successful law practice and elected service as a resident of Illinois. He served as an Illinois State Assemblyman and an Illinois Representative during the 13th Congress, prior to his election as 16th President of the United States. He is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery near the State Capital in Springfield, Illinois, where many additional sites of historical interest are located.
Congressman George E. Sangmeister, a veteran of the Korean War, served as a representative and senator in the state of Illinois, 1973-87, and a U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1988-95. He was instrumental in the acquisition of 982 acres from the former Joliet Arsenal and its redevelopment as Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
Monument and Memorials
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery has a memorial walk that commemorates soldiers of 20th century wars on 11 memorials.
An 18-foot granite obelisk crowned by a bronze eagle with outstretched wings commemorates the 2,403 Americans who died in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. It was donated by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and dedicated May 12, 2001.
The Blue Star Memorial Marker was donated by the District VIII Garden Club of Illinois and dedicated on September 15, 2000. The marker is a tribute to American men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve their country. Its symbolism dates to World War II when families of servicemen and women displayed a square flag decorated with a blue star in their windows to signify that a loved one was in the armed forces.
Medal of Honor Recipients
First Sergeant Theodore Hyatt, (Civil War), Company D, 127th Illinois Infantry, 2nd Division, 15th Army Corps. Battle of Vicksburg, May 22, 1863. (Section 1, Grave 1613)
Congressman George E. Sangmeister interred Oct. 11, 2007 (Section 1, Grave 2)
It was a sunny day today. We have not had many and it was enough of a rarity that I decided to venture our in order to explore the area around Joliet, IL. So it was off along Illinois Route 53 to see a few of the attractions along the way.
My first stop was Lewis University. This school is situated just south of the Joliet Correctional Center (the one that replaced the old prison depicted in the Blues Brothers movie.) But as luck would have it outside of their small airfield there was not much that drew me to photograph it today. Perhaps on my next visit.
But further south along the highway is the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. This place is just beginning to take shape. There are hundreds of graves (if not thousands) but right now the majority of the area is under construction. It would appear that some Stimulus Money has made its way from Washington D.C. to this location and that means nice roadways are being installed and landscaping is underway. I am thankful for this upgrade to honor our fallen soldiers.
I took a few images in the northwestern quadrant of the cemetery where the construction was not so obvious. And before leaving caught a few images along the roadway leading into the place. But then it was back towards home.
When I reached the first Starbucks coffee shop and had a chance to revive my energy it was then that I decided to revisit the campus of my Alma Mater having been there last night in the dark to take a few more images of this beautiful campus. Wheaton College is well over a hundred years old and is the place where I met my wife. It holds special meaning for me.
From the Abolitionist movement to the revivals of Billy Graham, Wheaton has experienced 150 years of dynamic engagement in academics and culture. Wheaton’s history is marked by stories of great faith and learning, and of the students who took their Wheaton education to influence the world For Christ and His Kingdom.