Located on Illinois Route 2 on the west edge of Dixon, Illinois, right on the Historic Lincoln Highway, Veterans Memorial Park is a setting to honor veterans from all of the surrounding areas. The park is free to the public and open anytime, though our Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) building is manned from noon to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays (plus Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day) from April through September.

The Dixon area has a rich history of service. We have Fort Dixon, where then-Captain Abraham Lincoln set up camp during the Blackhawk War. The old Lee County Courthouse has huge bronze plaques honoring local veterans from the Civil War through World War I. Also, there is the Wings of Peace statue that was presented to Ronald Reagan’s hometown and the Berlin Wall replica that accompanies it.


Work on the Park began in August, 2001, and on September 10th, 2006, five years later, was dedicated to veterans. The central circle is surrounded by the service flags, the POW-MIA, and U.S. flag stand as the centerpiece to the park.

Additional flags honor the Elks, the USO, the Red Cross, the Patriot Guard, and Disabled American Veterans. The Park itself is complete, though ever-updating, with expansion now taking place as we build a Veterans Memorial Museum in our building to the east.

The Park contains many military artifacts, including the Vietnam-era F-105D Thunderchief fighter/bomber. It joins the AH1 Cobra helicopter, also a Vietnam veteran, an M-60A3 tank, a 155mm Howitzer artillery piece, several 16-inch battleship shells and an anchor. The Park also features an M-725 Kaiser Jeep ambulance and several monuments to our veterans of different eras.

Although impressive by themselves, the artifacts are intended to draw attention to the over 1,000 legacy stones that make up the park’s walkways. Continuing ceremonies each year add more stones to the park to honor veterans. A virtual history lesson, the stones honor all who have served the nation in war and peace. Featured are three Presidents who either served in the Dixon area or had ties to the community. President Zachary Taylor, President Abraham Lincoln, and President Ronald Reagan are included among the veterans honored by the legacy stones. Privates to Presidents are all honored equally here.

Located north of the F-105 is a unique stone memorial honoring those who in the course of their service were recipients of the Purple Heart medal. This medal is only presented to those who, in action with enemy forces, were injured or killed. A medal very deserved, but never sought. Around the Park are located plaques dedicated to those of Lee County who in service to their country did not return from World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. An additional plaque remembers those killed in the Beirut, Lebanon bombing attack.

Veterans Memorial Park Commission

The Veterans Memorial Park Commission meets every fourth Wednesday from February through November at 6:30pm at our museum building: 1217 Palmyra Street, Dixon, IL 61021. Public comments are always welcome, and the meeting agendas can be found at the City of Dixon’s webpage or posted in the front window of the museum building or in our kiosk in front of the HHC building.