BY O'FALLON MAYOR GARY L. GRAHAM
Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of the travel season in America when many of us take to the road for vacations and weekend trips. Whether your Memorial Day trip is across the country or just across town, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will arrive safe and sound if you practice the following safety tips:
- Plan your trip so that you have plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as, speeding, tailgating, failing to yield the right-of-way, and following too closely.
- Drive defensively.
- Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. Check tire pressures and tread, clean all lights, check brakes and battery.
- Use seat belts each and every time you are in a vehicle. Buckling up can substantially reduce the severity of injuries in nonfatal crashes.
- Always secure children in child car seats in the back seat.
- Allow someone else to drive when taking medications or when you are drowsy.
- Don’t let drinking and driving turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy. Even moderate consumption of wine or beer impairs your ability to make proper decisions on the road.
Memorial Day weekend also provides us with an opportunity to pause for a moment and remember those who have passed on, whether in war or otherwise.
O’Fallon’s Memorial Day programs will be held on Monday, May 30th. The first program will be held at 9 a.m. at the City of O’Fallon Cemetery, located on North Oak Street. VFW Post 805 is organizing and sponsoring the program that includes a flag presentation, a speech by O’Fallon City Clerk Phil Goodwin, and a three-volley rifle salute. In addition to the morning ceremonies, the Sergeant Charles A. Fricke gravesite memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at the Mount Carmel Cemetery. For further information please contact VFW Post 805 at 618.624.6575.
The second program will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the City of O’Fallon Veterans Monument, 737 East Wesley Drive. The guest speaker for the event will be Brigadier General Randall Reed, USAF, Deputy Director, Strategic Plans, HQ, AMC, with participation from the First Baptist Church Adult Choir, OTHS AFJ ROTC, VFW Post 805, Miss Lauren Lundy, St. Louis Opera Theatre; Craig Bedard, SMSgt, USAF (Ret); and the USAF Honor Guard Rifle Team, in addition to others. The program will include the recognition of the new inscriptions to the monument. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, 1111 E. U.S. Highway 50. For more information, please visit the Monument web site at www.ofallonveteransmonument.org/.
Veterans are encouraged to wear their medals and decorations to the events. Residents who plan to attend the programs are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and water bottles.
If you aren’t able to attend one of O’Fallon’s ceremonies, I encourage you to pause for a moment of silence sometime on Monday, May 30 to show respect for those who have gone before us. The compassion and respect that our residents exhibit towards one another is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.