Illinois National Guard Commemorates 300 Years of Service

By David Slavik, The Chicago Times

April 28, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois National Guard will commemorate its 300th birthday in Springfield Illinois in May.  

The Illinois National Guard officially turns 300 years old on May 9, but will celebrate on May 6 by commemorating significant dates in its history with a day full of events in the State’s Capital and home of the Illinois National Guard headquarters.

Scheduled celebration events for Saturday, May 6, in Springfield:

10:00 am – Illinois State Military Museum, 1301 North MacArthur Blvd, Springfield –  ILNG 1st Muster Reenactment including militia drills. Timeline through ILNG history with the museum’s volunteers and living historians will be on display throughout the day until 4 p.m.

11:00 am – Oak Ridge Cemetery War Memorials, 1500 Monument Ave., Springfield – ILARNG Col. Shawn Nokes, incoming Commander of the 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) will speak on the importance of “passing the torch” from Vietnam Veterans to the younger generation of Veterans.  This is part of the annual Vietnam Veterans Vigil which runs from 10:30 a.m. on May 6 to 11:15 a.m. on May 7. 

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Union Square Park, 500 E. Madison St., Springfield (Across 6th Street from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum).  Illinois National Guard military equipment displays, a “Black Ops” obstacle course, information booths and other activities.