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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

It’s Buddy Poppy time as veterans get set for Naperville’s Memorial Day Parade


As the city becomes decked out in patriotic colors, this week prior to Memorial Day is a time to pick a bunch of Buddy Poppies to share with family and friends. Veterans will be stationed in high traffic areas such as Casey’s Foods with the red artificial poppies, accepting much-appreciated donations of any size to help fund unmet needs of disabled men and women who have served in the military.

For many months, a committee of  men and women from the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, American Legion Post 43, the Women’s Auxiliary, the Naperville Municipal Band, police and fire departments and the community have been planning the annual Memorial Day Parade and other observances for Mon., May 28.

Approximately 88 entries, including marching bands, will attract tens of thousands of individuals to downtown Naperville where the parade route will be lined with folks holding American flags.  As the veterans march, parade goers applaud in remembrance of the men and women in the military who ever have served their country at home and abroad, with special solemn tributes to all who have given the supreme sacrifice.

At its final meeting on May 17, the committee connected to finalize all details.

Chairman Terry Jelinek confirmed that  Edwin Kane would be Officer of the Day and  Retired Naperville Police Chief David Dial will serve as Parade Marshall.

Naperville’s parade also will be honored to recognize Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Allen James Lynch as the Grand Marshall, Jelinek said.

Lynch is featured in the book, Medal of Honor, Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty, for his service in the U.S. Army. According to a promotion for the book, since the Civil War more than 39 million men and women have served the United States Armed Forces.

Of those individuals, “3,440 served with such uncommon valor and and extraordinary courage that they were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award. Each of their heroic actions is as unique as the person who performed it.”

The book profiles 100 of America’s living Medal of Honor recipients.

Lynch who served active duty from November 1964 to April 1969 is recognized for distinguishing himself by pulling men to safety during heavy fighting on the battlefield in Vietnam.

Today Lynch, a resident of Gurnee, Ill., also is recognized for more than 30 years of service in Veterans Affairs.  After the parade, Lynch will provide some thoughts during the 30-minute observance and wreath laying in Central Park.

Memorial Day Schedule

8AM – Flag raising and service at Sept. 11-Cmdr. Dan Shanower Memorial at City Hall– (taps & volley)

8:30 – Service at Veterans Park (Gartner Rd.) – (taps & volley)

8:50 – Service at Burlington Park Doughboy Monument – (taps & volley)

9:15 – Service at Ss. Peter & Paul Cemetery (taps & volley)

10:00 – Service at GAR Monument in Naperville Cemetery – (taps & volley)

10:30 – Advance section of parade steps off from Jackson and Ewing

10:40 – Service at plaza, corner of Webster & Jackson

Marching veterans will assemble in the VFW parking lot and step off from there. There is NO PARKING anywhere in the lot so allow time to get to the assembly area.  Veterans who need a ride during the parade are asked to  call Terry Jelinek at (630) 357-5366.

The Memorial Day Parade Route

Main Parade steps off from Jackson & West St ., East to Washington, North to Benton, East to Court Place & Ss Peter and Paul Parking lot.

The Memorial Day Concert with Patriotic Speeches in Central Park

12:15PM – Program at Community Concert Center in Central Park

Selections by Naperville Municipal Band

Invocation – Star Spangled Banner

Municipal Band – Medley of Service Songs

Service at Blackhawk Monument – prayer, volley, taps & Star Spangled Banner

Municipal Band – Patriotic Medley

12:45 – Dismissal, buses will take veterans and military units back to City Hall for their vehicles or to Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 where lunch and refreshments will be provided for participants and their families.

If it is raining at 9 AM – decision to cancel will be made at that time by the Parade committee and the Naperville Police Department

For more than 80 years, the Memorial Day Parade has been a Naperville tradition.

This Web site also features photos of patriotic places where individuals can pause and reflect about this great nation.

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.