Memorial Day commemorations will last a little longer in Woodstock this year after organizers decided to extend a well-received series of displays for several weeks.
Eighteen businesses and public places throughout Woodstock will host displays of American military memorabilia and uniforms from World War II through the present day from Wednesday, May 17, to on or around Saturday, June 10.
This is the second year in a row local businesses have hosted the Memorial Day displays. Last year, the memorabilia was exhibited for a few days, but people asked that it be extended, said organizer Butch Borchardt, a Vietnam War veteran.
“This used to be done in Woodstock many years ago,” Borchardt said. “We decided to bring it back.”
The displays will feature military uniforms, photos and other memorabilia from local veterans.
Bill Lyford is among the veterans who is lending part of his uniform to the effort. The 92-year-old Woodstock man spent two-and-a-half years of World War II in combat with the Army’s 45th Infantry Division.
“I think Memorial Day should be a day when we think more of [fallen war veterans] instead of having picnics,” Lyford said. “Everyone should visit the cemeteries.”
Lyford’s “Eisenhower jacket” will hang at The Thoughtfulness Shop, 104 Cass St., complete with his Croix de Guerre awarded to him by the French government, his Presidential Unit Citation and other military decorations he accumulated while fighting in eight campaigns in Europe.
Lyford said he hopes people who see his jacket remember the sacrifices of soldiers who didn’t return from war.
“We’re the ones that came back,” Lyford said. “The important thing is remembering the guys who never got to come back, didn’t marry their girlfriends, didn’t have families. They’re still over there.”