An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Feb. 15, 2024

Illinois National Guard Honors Former Guardsman Abe Lincoln

By Barbara Wilson, Joint Force Headquarters - Illinois National Guard Public Affairs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois National Guard recognized its most notable militiaman and 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, during a ceremony at his tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery Feb. 12, the 215th anniversary of his birth.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Alessia, director of the Illinois National Guard Joint Staff, presented a wreath on behalf of President Joseph Biden as part of the 90th annual National American Legion Pilgrimage to his tomb.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Illinois National Guard, it is an honor to participate in this ceremony today,” Alessia said. “And it is a privilege for us all to learn from the life, the deeds, the words, and the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln.”

Alessia was carrying on a tradition that began in 1967 when President Lyndon Baines Johnson sent wreaths to be presented at the graves of his predecessors on their birthdays. Each year, wreaths of red, white and blue flowers are sent to the burial places of all deceased presidents on the anniversary of their birthday.

“Abraham Lincoln’s integrity, leadership and wisdom still permeates the fabric of our country 159 years after his death,” Alessia said.

Alessia told about 150 people who assembled for the ceremony that Lincoln has particular significance for the Illinois National Guard because he served as a captain in the Illinois State Militia during the Blackhawk War.

“Our Guardsmen draw inspiration from Lincoln almost daily,” Alessia said. “This is easy when you consider Lincoln served at the lowest levels of a military unit and at the very top as our commander in chief.”

 

 

Related Articles
The Virginia Army National Guard Funeral Honors Program hosts 11 Army National Guard Soldiers from nine states and territories for a level 2 funeral honors training course March 5, 2024, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Soldiers from Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin participated in the two week-long training, which certifies instructors to teach fellow Soldiers the skills, procedures and standards for providing final respects to military veterans.
Army National Guard Soldiers Train in Funeral Honors Program
By A.J. Coyne, | March 20, 2024
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Army National Guard Funeral Honors Program hosted 11 Army National Guard Soldiers from nine states and territories for a training course Feb. 26-March 8 at the State Military...

The Maryland Air National Guard partnered with Estonia’s Cyber Command to host exercise Baltic Blitz 23 Sept. 17-20, 2023, at Ämari Air Base, Harijumaa, Estonia. About 30 Airmen from the 175th Wing, two soldiers from the Illinois Army National Guard, 12 service members from Poland, and 30 Estonians participated in the cyber exercise.
Maryland Air Guard, Estonian Partners Focus on Cyber Defense
By 1st Sgt. Thaddeus Harrington, | Oct. 18, 2023
AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia - The Maryland Air National Guard partnered with Estonia’s Cyber Command Sept. 17-20 to host the cybersecurity exercise Baltic Blitz 23. About 30 Airmen from the 175th Wing, two Illinois Army National...

Members of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard, attended the National Guard Bureau-Home Front Command annual planning conference at HFC Headquarters in Ramla, Israel, July 22-28, 2023.
Massachusetts Guard Attends Planning Conference in Israel
By Airman 1st Class Julia Ahaesy, | Sept. 25, 2023
RAMLA, Israel - Members of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard, attended the National Guard Bureau-Home Front Command annual planning conference in Israel July 22-28.U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brendan...