66.4 F
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wherever you stand, pause, reflect and be grateful


Above / Memorial Day brings folks together to observe the special significance of the day with thoughtful reflections. “Peace” plays a prominent part during the flag raising at 8:15AM at Veterans Park across from Grace United Methodist Church on Gartner Road.

Bugler Rich Yndestad performs Taps.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace.” —Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was a Five-Star General in the U.S. Army, in command of the the Pacific theater during World War II.

Wherever you stand, pause, take a few moments to reflect and be grateful for supreme sacrifices on this Memorial Day weekend.

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Naperville is blessed to show its patriotism every day with monuments, Freedom Shrines and other commemorative messages along the Riverwalk as well as in Veterans Park, Burlington Square Park, Central Park and Fredenhagen Park.

Click any photo to enlarge and remember with gratitude the sacrifices given for liberty and justice for all.

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Memorial Day Schedule Every Year

(Note that since 2017, the flag raising ceremonies have begun 15 minutes earlier.)

Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis and Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall placed a wreath at the Wall of Faces to remember all the fallen. (PN File Photo 2017)

7:45AM – Flag raising and service at Sept. 11-Cmdr. Dan Shanower Memorial at City Hall– (taps & volley)

8:15AM – Service at Veterans Park (Gartner Rd.) – (taps & volley)

8:35AM – Service at Burlington Park Doughboy Monument (South of Train Station) – (taps & volley)

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

9:45AM – Service at GAR Monument in Naperville Cemetery – (taps & volley)

10:30AM – The Memorial Day Parade begins at 10:30AM in downtown Naperville along Jackson Ave., east to Washington Street north to Benton as it winds around Benton to Central Park. Advance section of parade steps off from Jackson and Ewing (For the safety of all participants and spectators, the 2018 Memorial Day Parade was canceled due to extreme temperatures above 90 degrees. Regardless of weather, flag raising services will happen.)

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

Calling all Veterans! 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.  World War II and Korean War veterans who need a ride during the parade are asked to contact Judd Kendall VFW Commander Pablo Araya before May 25 at arayavfw@gmail.com.

Memorial Day flag-raising ceremonies begin at 7:45AM at the Dan Shanower – September 11 Memorial with the Wall of Faces. (PN File Photo 2017)

Note! In the interest of public safety for all, the decision to cancel the parade is made by the Naperville Police Department just prior to the parade.  The intent is to march unless rain is very bad or the inclement weather is dangerous.  No email announcement will be sent as the decision will be most likely be made at the last minute.  If the decision comes early, the information will be posted on the Memorial Day Parade website.

Special Remembrance in Central Park at noon

At 12:15PM, solemn tributes to all fallen heroes who made the supreme sacrifice will be presented with patriotic music performed by the Naperville Municipal Band. A brief program is planned. The Colors, Honor Guard and a wreath laying ceremony also are included during the 30-minute program in Central Park.

First organized by Jim Oftedal in 2016, the Naperville Judd Kendall VFW 3873 and American Legion Post 43 Honor Guard performs full military honors at funerals, including a three-round volley and flag presentation. On May 6, 2018, the dedicated men marked the occasion of serving 100 families with honor. (PN File Photo 2018)

For more than 80 years, the Memorial Day observance has been organized by local veterans and citizens in conjunction with the American Legion Post 43 and the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873.

Thank you, City of Naperville, for ongoing support of the Memorial Day Parade and the Naperville Municipal Band.

Thank you, Veterans, for putting this day together.

Visit the Freedom Shrine, visible 24 hours a day, on the exterior of the Naperville Municipal Center facing the Riverwalk and the Commander Dan Shanower Sept. 11 Memorial. “Freedom isn’t free.”

Editor’s Notes / Memorial Day is a poignant reminder of cherished and fragile lives that have fallen while serving to protect this nation’s freedom.

As the Naperville community assembles in thoughtful observance of this holiday established in 1868 as Decoration Day, consider the words in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. God bless America.

And thanks to Mike Barbour who more than a decade ago wrote What I’ll  Be Doing for Memorial Day, reflections about military service we can’t forget. In recent years, Barbour has continued his advocacy for the needs of Veterans by writing a monthly column, Veterans in Touch, for Positively Naperville.


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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.


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