Pritzker gives Illinois National Guardsmen day off in recognition of Memorial Day

Chronicle Media

The Illinois National Guard is operating free, drive-thru sites for COVID-19 testing throughout the state.  Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora is one of the latest locations to open.  (Photos courtesy of Illinois National Guard)

SPRINGFIELD – To thank the men and women of the Illinois National Guard for their work during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced plans to give all 1,109 Illinois National Guard members supporting the response the day off in recognition of Memorial Day. 

“Though many Memorial Day traditions look different this year, I encourage every Illinoisan to take a moment this weekend to honor those who served, those currently deployed, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation we all cherish,” said  Pritzker on Friday.

“As the commander-in-chief of the Illinois National Guard, I am deeply humbled by the work these extraordinary individuals have been doing day and night to see Illinois through this pandemic – they’ve more than earned a day of rest,” he said.

These Illinois National Guardsmen are staffing our Community Based Testing Sites, Coronavirus hotline, embedded with local emergency management agencies, PPE warehousing and more. 

“The Illinois National Guard has been hard at work on COVID-19 response since March, with more than 1,000 troops on duty fighting against COVID-19 and more than 1,000 deployed throughout the world protecting our nation,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. “With traffic on Memorial Day expected to be light at the COVID-19 testing sites, I requested and the governor granted a day of administrative leave for those troops working at the testing sites, giving our Illinois National Guard members a day to reflect on their predecessors who gave all.” 

Community Based Testing Sites will resume normal operations on Tuesday, May 26.