The Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team (TACT) presents the colors at about 130 ceremonies throughout Tazewell County each year. Because the team consists of only about 30 members, TACT often turns to local organizations like the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) for help augmenting its ranks.
“They help us with a lot of ceremonies,” said TACT Provost Bill McWherter. “This year, they assisted us with 10 events. We appreciate how they come together as a team to come out when we need them.”
In a tangible expression of TACT’s appreciation, McWherter presented a plaque to Pekin Community High School JROTC. Cadet Maj. Trinity Lutz, PCHS JROTC battalion commander, accepted the award on behalf of the unit.
“It’s an honor to get this award,” said Lutz. “Each Veterans Day, we place flags on graves as a service learning project. While we’re performing a service for veterans, we’re also learning about the history of Veterans Day and its meaning.”
Last Veterans Day weekend, PCHS JROTC placed approximately 100 flags on graves as their tribute to fallen veterans. Lt. Col. Larry Hallstrom, senior army instructor of the PCHS JROTC program, cited the enthusiasm of the cadets in volunteering for local ceremonies as a major factor in the unit’s success.
“We have about 175 cadets and usually our problem is that too many of them want to help with a ceremony or a community project,” he said. “That’s a unique problem to have today. I’m proud of the community service they provide not only in Pekin but throughout the greater Peoria area.”