Memorial Day service will include tribute to Gunnar Hotchkin
Hinsdale’s annual Memorial Day services will have a special dedication this year to honor Army Pfc. Gunnar Hotchkin, the 1997 graduate of Hinsdale Central High School and Naperville resident who was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb last June.
The parade, which kicks off at 10 a.m. on Garfield Avenue at First Street on Monday, will be followed by usual traditions in front of the village’s Memorial Hall and also a special tribute tree dedication to Hotchkin in Burlington Park.
Hinsdale’s local American Legion Post 250 sponsors the annual event. the post’s adjutant Joseph Craig said much of the day’s events are held at Memorial Hall. 19 E. Chicago Ave., since it’s a building dedicated to memorialize veterans.
“At one part of the ceremony we have a choral group read the name of everyone from Hinsdale that died in the wars – we’ll have Gunnar Hotchkin’s name added to the list this year,” Craig said.
Village Manager Dave Cook said Congresswoman Judy Biggert is scheduled to be the speaker at the ceremony following the parade, and there will also be a 21-gun salute and a performance by Hinsdale Chorale and a small group from Hinsdale Central High School’s band.
“Chris Hotchkin, Gunnar’s mother, is also going to make a few remarks regarding her son,” Cook said. “Then there will be a dedication to Gunnar at his tribute tree, located at the northwest corner of Burlington Park.”
Legion Post 250 will also host a sunrise ceremony at 7 a.m. on Memorial Day at Bronswood Cemetery, 3805 Madison St., Oak Brook.
Hotchkin, 31, was killed June 16 in Afghanistan when the armored vehicle he was riding in hit a roadside bomb and flipped. He was deployed to Afghanistan in December and had recently worked clearing paths of explosives.