Park Forest Veterans Day Celebration to Recognize Local Heroes

144th Army Band, Illinois National Guard, Veterans Day
The 144th Army Band, Illinois Army National Guard. (Photo: 144th Army Band)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Veterans Commission will present a special program at Freedom Hall in recognition of Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The program, which begins at noon, will include static displays of military vehicles provided by the Veterans Garage, spanning various combat eras.

The 144th Army Band is also slated to perform several selections at the Veterans Day event. The band is stationed at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, IL and is proud to have some of the area’s finest professional and amateur musicians. The members of the 144th Army Band meet one weekend each month for rehearsals and performances and spend an additional fifteen days throughout the year supporting military and civilian events as part of our Annual Training. As the musical representatives of the Illinois Army National Guard, the 144th Army Band performs regularly for audiences throughout Illinois. 

While our mission as a United States Army band is multi-faceted, our main duties revolve around music. We work to promote readiness by performing music that raises troop morale and promotes esprit de corps. The band provides music for troop gatherings and activities, military and religious ceremonies, and civic affairs — such as parades and other public events.

The 144th Army Band capabilities a ceremonial band, marching band, concert band, Dixieland band, a 16 piece jazz band, jazz quintet, brass quintet, woodwind quintet a variety of other small musical groups.  

The band is made up of 38 citizen-soldiers from all over the state of Illinois and the surrounding area. Many of the members are students, music teachers, or are otherwise associated with the music field in their civilian pursuits.

The 144th Army Band has a rich and illustrious history which can be traced back over 150 years.  The earliest recognized period of the 144th Army Band was when it was formed as the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band in 1861.  While a part of the 33rd the unit consisted of only 17 bandsmen who served the nation by providing musical support for troops during the Civil War.  The band was lead by bandmasters Augustus Woodward and C.S. Elder, both from Lexington, IL.  Due to financial constraints, the time the band was disbanded on August 16, 1862.

Sources: Village of Park Forest, 144th Army Band

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