Memorial Day activities
National Guard Day held on May 21
SPRINGFIELDThe National Guard Day at the State Capitol that had originally been scheduled for May 16 was rescheduled for May 21. Gov. George Ryan and the State Legislature honored the men and women of the Illinois National Guard by declaring it National Guard Day at the State Capitol.
In addition to recognizing the important role of the Illinois National Guard at both the state and national level, National Guard Day offers the citizens of Illinois the chance to learn more about their Guard and what its dedicated members are doing. The day featured exhibits and displays on the Capitol grounds and inside the Rotunda highlighting Illinois National Guard programs, missions, equipment and weapons systems.
A special flag ceremony was held on the floor of the Illinois House and on the floor of the state Senate. The Lincolns ChalleNGE Academy Choir and Drill Team also gave performances.
Illinois National Guard exhibits included military artifacts from the Illinois State Military Museum, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, Humvees, fire and rescue truck, state-of-the-art equipment from the Bartonville-based 5th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, TOW and Stinger missile displays, 5-ton truck, 155mm-towed howitzer, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) and much more.
Slight gain expected
in Memorial Day travel
AURORAMemorial Day holiday travel is expected to show modest increases over last years travel projections despite a decline in air travel.
AAAs annual Memorial Day holiday survey projects that 35.2 million Americans plan to travel 50 miles or more from home, which is up 1 percent from last year.
Approximately 29.3 million travelers expect to travel by car, a 2 percent increase from the 28.7 million who drove last year. Another 4.1 million people plan to travel by airplane, which is down more than 7 percent from the 4.4 million who flew last Memorial Day holiday.
A projected 1.8 million vacationers will go by train, bus or other modes of transportation, which is equal to last year.
AAA is extremely optimistic that more people will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, which is a positive indication that the travel industry is on the road to recovery, said Steve Nolan, spokesperson for AAA-Chicago Motor Club. And, although air travel numbers are still down, they are at their highest levels since Sept. 11.
The greatest number of Memorial Day travelers will originate in the West with 7.2 million, followed by the Southeast with 6.4 million. Auto travelers from the Midwest are expected to be around 6.1 million, followed by the Northeast with 5.3 and finally the Great Lakes with 4.3 million.
The Travel Industry Association of America, which conducts special research for AAA, bases Memorial Day travel projections on a national telephone survey.