34.9 F
Monday, December 4, 2023

Naperville’s Poppy Days lead to Memorial Day observances


Above / The Poppy movement was inspired by fields of red poppies in a well-known poem written in 1915 by Canadian Army Col. John McCrae titled “In Flanders Fields.”

When mid-May rolls around many backyard gardens are edged with blossoms of bright red poppies, standing tall and collecting dew early in the morning.  The perennial flower also is the centerpiece of the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by John McCrae during World War I in Ypres, Belgium, symbolic of remembrance and hope.

With Memorial Day on the mind, thoughts also turn to a longtime tradition of springtime when veterans from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and other volunteers stand with bunches of red artificial poppies to help raise funds for disabled veterans.

- Advertisement -


Above/ Jefferson Avenue at Main Street is a popular place for youngsters to meet friendly veterans and to receive a red artificial Poppy during the week before Memorial Day.

Poppy Distribution since 1922

Artificial poppies first were distributed by the Franco-American Children’s League to benefit children in the devastated areas of France and Belgium following World War I.

Wearing a red poppy is a personal choice. Support is greatly appreciated by the individuals it helps as well as all veterans, military currently serving, and their families and dependents.

The red poppy represents remembrance and hope, a reminder not to forget sacrifices that have been made to protect America’s freedoms in a quest for world peace.

In Flander’s Field

The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance and hope for world peace.

By John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.

American Legion Post 43 ‘Poppy Day’ / May 19, 2016

On Thurs., May 19, American Legion Post 43 held its annual “Poppy Day” in the Naperville and Lisle area with distribution at local train stations.  As in the past three years, all proceeds will go to support disabled veterans via the American Legion “Operation Comfort Warriors,” a program that provides wounded service members with rehabilitation equipment for physical therapy and entertainment in the form of soft clothing, electronics, video games, movies, music and more. They will receive 100 percent of all donations collected on
“Poppy Day.”

Buddy Poppy Distribution / May 24 to Memorial Day

From Tues., May 24, through Memorial Day, veterans and other volunteers organized by the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 will be stationed in popular destinations throughout town including train stations, downtown Naperville, Casey’s Foods and other local supermarkets with Buddy Poppies, accepting much-appreciated donations of any size.

In addition, bunches of poppies can be obtained from the Judd Kendall VFW Post with a suggested donation of $1 per poppy. All proceeds benefit disabled veterans, needs of local veterans and their families, as well as local military serving worldwide.

For more information about the 2016 Buddy Poppy Sales, contact Nancy Marinello at (630) 464-3696.  Checks made payable to VFW Post 3873 can be sent to the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, 908 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540. Arrangements can be made for delivery to home or office.

For more than 85 years, Naperville’s Memorial Day observances have been organized by local veterans and citizens. Today, the community rallies in support of the American Legion Post 43 (chartered in 1919) and the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 (chartered in 1944), two local organizations of dedicated veterans that continue to serve their country.

2016 Memorial Day Parade steps off 10:30AM, May 30

Memorial Day Parade 2015 450 May 25, 2015Since 1928, the Memorial Day Parade has been a Naperville tradition.

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 30.

Approximately 70 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 before the parade, the committee connected to finalize all details.

Chairman Terry Jelinek confirmed that Lou Kueltzo would be Officer of the Day and Phil Maughan will serve as Parade Marshall.

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

Keynote speaker – Regan Macwan, a 9th-grade home-school student from Naperville who placed third in the nation in the 2016 American Legion Oratorical Contest, will deliver his 8-minute speech that recently took him to the national contest in Peoria, Ill.

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

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

Also Note: Absolutely no parking is allowed in the Centennial Beach parking lot or behind the Judd Kendall VFW at 908 W. Jackson from 5AM to 1PM on May 30, 2016. No parking is allowed along Jackson Avenue west of Mill Street. Parked cars and other vehicles that belong to any group marching in the parade will be towed. The VFW will be closed to the public until after the observance in Central Park is completed at 1PM.

One more thing… Poppies are growing beautifully along the fence in Don Crookston’s backyard. He’ll be 93 on May 18, 2016. He served as a Navy Seabee in the South Pacific during World War II.

- Advertisement -
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.


The latest local headlines delivered
to your inbox each morning.
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Get the Daily Square-Scoop. Local Headlines Most Mornings.