“To better understand what Memorial Day is all about, we have put together 13 banners for the parade titled ‘Never Forget …. Naperville’s Fallen’,” explained USMC Veteran Wayne Fischer who served in Vietnam. “These banners list the names, by war, of all of our 114 Naperville Soldiers that paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country to protect our freedoms. From the Black Hawk War up through the War in Afghanistan, Naperville Soldiers have always been there, committed to doing the job of protecting their brothers and sisters while taking on the enemy. Let us ‘Never Forget’ this sacrifice – not just on Memorial Day, but every day of the year. We cannot thank them enough.”
The 2018 Naperville Memorial Day will step off at 10:30AM on Mon., May 28, in downtown Naperville, an ongoing tradition that began back in 1928 when the holiday was known as Decoration Day.
It’s customary to hear applause and witness salutes from spectators who line the streets as they recognize supreme sacrifice and that freedom isn’t free. Crowds clad in red, white and blue also show rousing respect to units of veterans with flags and to marching bands with many musicians, young and old, performing patriotic songs to remind us that peaceful assembly and peace are cherished in our world.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Naperville Memorial Day Parade Committee will introduce a new set of banners in a quest to always remember why the morning of this national holiday has long been set aside for visiting cemeteries and Veterans’ monuments, watching the parade and attending a special musical tribute with a wreath laying in Central Park. Our community aims to remember every Naperville service man and woman who has given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and peace.
For the past couple of years, Jim Hoch and Iris Fischer have been researching obituaries, cemeteries and other records, with the assistance of Bryan Ogg, to identify names of all service men and women from Naperville. Dating back to the Black Hawk War in 1832, their initiative has identified 114 individuals from Naperville who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.
Their efforts have made it possible to follow through on an idea presented by Joe Caruso and Gloria Caruso, parents of Sgt. David Caruso, USMC KIA on Nov. 9, 2004. The Carusos suggested creating banners that will designate 12 wars and conflicts with a memorable tribute to every military man and woman from Naperville who died while serving to protect freedoms. That way, every soldier’s sacrifice will be remembered, whether or not their Gold Star families participate by riding in the parade.
“We don’t want anything taken away from the parade,” the Carusos wrote to the American Legion and VFW.
Instead, they wanted to add something to it. And they suggested the banners.
The Black Hawk War – William Brown
The Mexican-American War – Edmund Bill
The American Civil War – Lewis Bessing, John Campbell, Lewis Conklin, John Daniels, William Dedtzler, Alvaro F. Drullard, Jhn Drury, Isaac Elsy, Daniel H. Fowler, Harry Boardman Freeman, Richard Garbs, Thomas Giblin, Soloman Givler, Emanuel Gushard, William Houser, John B. Hubrecht, Edward E. Hull, Jacob Hummer, Charles W. Hyde, John Itzenhauser, Samuel C. Kellogg, Williman Jepthah Kenyon, Jacob Kochley, Charles Leonard, Menry Meacham, Merritt Lindsey, Albert Mosley, George Austin Naper, Baptiste Neas, Joseph Neff, Daniel Neaderhauser, Henry Norton, George Person, Horace S. Potter, William C. Porter, Carl Schultz, Richard Shanning, Reuben Snyder, Samuel Snyder, Elisha Stanley, DeWitt C. Stevens, Thomas Stinson, Joseph L. Tennant, Herman Trinke, William J. Tobias, John Vanderogan, Elisha Wert, Elisha H. Wilcox and Henry S. Zentmeyer
The Spanish-American War – Ernest L. Smith
World War I – Edward Carol Babst, Jennings Clyde Beidelman, Eugene McKinley Berger, Arnold Paul Hiltenbrand, Edward William Hiltz, Oliver Jillian (Judd) Kendall and Henry Ettinger Rude
World War II – Merlyn Clyde Auner, Harlan Ted Baliman, Julius Joseph Babst, Leopold F. Bartha, Harold Eugene Beidelman, Philip Mills Clow, Willard F. Crippen, Eugene E. Dowling, Louis Norton Duesing, Oliver John Ebinger, Harry C. Gregory, Alvin Homer Hauptfuehrer, Jack G. Hawbecker, Jack Kenneth Heinke, Peter C. Helson, Jr., Paul S. Hensley, Richard Frank Julius, William R. Kelsch, George Walter Knoch, James M. Liston, Charles R. Martin, George Arcade Massier, Lawrence Christian Nadelhoffer, Gerald W. Palmer, Omer Lee Pamplin, William W. Schatzer, Arthur Schnabel, Dale E. Tomlin and Robert Joseph Yetter
The Korean War – Margaret Abbott (only woman), Robert Edding Channon, Howard B. Dunn, William L. Jensen and Leslie A. Van Poucke
The Vietnam War – Christopher Wayne Beavers, Michael James Beirne, Michael Edward Dunn, Walter Joseph Gutowski, John Charles Luebke, Dean Ward Moehring, Ronald Michael Nowak, Donald John Porter, Jay Charles Sacks, Edward Michael Sieben and John Braxton Woodall
The War on Terror – CMDR Dan Frederic Shanower
Operation Iraqi Freedom – Bradley Harry Beste, David Mitchell Caruso, James Melvin Hale, Jack Taft Hennessy, Adam Wade Kaiser and Andrew Robert Pokorny
Operation Enduring Freedom – Gunnar Randall Hotchkin and Anthony Gary Mihalo
The War in Afghanistan – Daniel Alexander Weiss
“We respectfully ask that the greatest fear that all Gold Star parents have does not come to fruition,” the Carusos wrote. “That is, that our loved one will be forgotten.”
In remembrance of all the fallen, banners have been designed and printed for the 2018 Memorial Day Parade. If any local hero has been missed, he or she will be added in 2019.
The community is encouraged to review the list to see if any fallen hero is missing. To date, 114 Naperville residents have been identified and listed with the war in which they served and sacrificed.
Memorial Day Parade Committee member Wayne Fischer extends his appreciation to Ray Kinney as well as the designers and printers at Blooming Color for graciously agreeing to donate these banners for this important community charge.
Anyone who knows a Naperville resident who died while serving in the military not on the list is asked to send the individual’s name with the conflict to Wayne Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be included on the 2019 Memorial Day Parade banners, send additional names by April 1, 2019. Thank you.