Macomb started Memorial Day weekend by unveiling a bronze sign at Oakwood Cemetery. The marker was installed to celebrate the burial ground's designation as a state historic site. It summarizes Oakwood's founding and history.
“You obviously take great pride in this cemetery and for great reasons. You have so many wonderful markers here,” William Furry said during the unveiling ceremony. He is Executive Director of the Illinois State Historical Society.
“I hope you make it part of your community and the younger generation. That’s so important for what you want to do for your community.”
He called cemeteries “cities of the dead.” After the ceremony, Furry told reporters that Oakwood and other cemeteries are hallowed grounds that tie communities together.
“It’s a site where stories can be told and communities can be drawn in and tell those stories to the next generation,” he said.
Western Illinois University Professor Emeritus John Hallwas used his speech during the ceremony to call Oakwood a meaningful historic site.
“(It) includes the presence of graves from every single generation of Macomb’s residents,” he said. “The cemetery is symbolic of meaningful community through time.”