Memorial Day is a day when veterans will lay wreaths at the various monuments erected to pay homage to our fallen heroes. Again in Naperville, they will start at the Shanower Memorial at City Hall. After visiting other memorials and cemeteries, the annual Memorial Day Parade will begin at 10:30AM.

As Naperville has grown, so has the size of the parade. The veterans are honored and grateful that so many people participate in the memorial services or come to see the parade. Most of the participants and marching bands have ties to Naperville. But one group that does not have ties to Naperville is a Flag Unit from Great Lakes Naval Academy.

We have been fortunate to have had them participate several times. These recruits are very near the completion of boot camp (eight weeks of intense physical and mental training), preparing them for their naval careers. In addition to their required training, they also chose to participate in the Flag Unit.

The Flag Unit includes the 50 State flags and a flag for each United States territory. These sailors soon will graduate from boot camp and officially go from recruits to sailors.

The drill instructors that have been here with prior groups have told us that the patriotism displayed, the respect shown to Veterans and the number of spectators all along the parade route create one of the most uplifting experiences these recruits have ever seen. Please continue to participate.

Although Memorial Day remembers all those who have passed as well as all the Gold Star families, we also honor the servicemen and women who are now serving. Please join us in wishing these sailors fair winds and following seas as they embark on their service in the United States Navy.