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UPDATE / Vietnam Wall of Remembrance on display November 9-13 along Naperville Riverwalk

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Above / Proud to serve. The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps is a federally-chartered nonprofit civilian youth organization providing real-life experiences for young men and women. While adhering to core values of honor, respect, commitment and service, Sea Cadets also participate in special events such as Veterans Day ceremonies and Memorial Day Parades.  (PN Photo)

Originally Posted Nov. 6, 2023 / An electronic sign along Washington Street in the William Friedrich Memorial Park provides information about the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance and other local upcoming events in November. Drive carefully. Be safe. (PN Photo)
Volunteer Service / On Sat., Nov. 4, members of Naperville Responds for Veterans and the Naperville Park District began finishing the framework to hold the panels for the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance. A sign along the Riverwalk lists the schedule for the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance with opening ceremony Nov. 9; Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11; and closing Taps at 8PM on Tues., Nov. 13.

Who / The public is invited to view a replica of the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance. Naperville Park District is partnering with Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, Naperville American Legion Post 43, and Naperville Responds for Veterans for this event.

Blooming Color printed and donated the name panels and 84 Lumber donated the lumber for the wall. Many veterans are volunteering their time to assist with the ceremonies and to be present at the wall.                               

What / The return of the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance commemorates the 50th anniversary of the departure of the last U.S. combat troops from South Vietnam in 1973. The wall includes the names of more than 58,000 service members who gave their lives between 1957 and 1975.  Several ceremonies are planned while the wall is on display. For more information, visit https://napervilleparks.org/VietnamWallofRemembrance.           

Where / The Vietnam Wall of Remembrance is being displayed on the lawn near the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion, 912 Honorary Sindt Memorial Court, just west of Centennial Beach. (And south of the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873) 

When / Public viewing of the wall is from sunrise to 10PM Thurs., Nov. 9-Mon., Nov. 13.

—Naperville Park District

Ceremonies held along the Riverwalk Nov. 9-13 with updates

DAY 1

Opening Ceremony / The Posts Color Guard help set the stage for the opening day ceremony at 10AM Thurs., Nov. 9, 2023, that concluded with “Amazing Grace” by a bagpiper. (PN Photo)

OPENING CEREMONY / November 9 at 10AM

Veterans Welcome Visitors / The evening of Nov. 9, and every day after dark through Nov. 13, the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance will be illuminated. Veterans will be present to greet visitors and to assist finding names of individuals who served and sacrificed. (PN Photo)

DAY 2

Marines Birthday Flag Raising / The U.S. Marine Corps commemorates 248 years. Thank you, Marines! (PN Photo)

MARINES BIRTHDAY FLAG-RAISING CEREMONY (At the Riverwalk Exchange Club Veterans Plaza between Webster & Main) / November 10 at 10AM

Final Salute / At 8PM Fri., Nov.10, the Combined Post Honor Guard and Color Guard participated in the daily ceremony to perform the “Final Salute,” followed by “Taps” at the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance. At 8PM today through Nov. 13, the community is welcome to experience the “Final Salute.” (PN Photo)

DAY 3

Veterans Day Ceremony / The stage was set & introductions were made as the annual Veterans Day ceremony began with gratitude at 11AM Nov. 11. The date recognizes that World War I, aka “The Great War,” ceased fighting when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Thanks to all Veterans! (PN Photo / 11-11-11 2023)

During the Veterans Day Ceremony, Mayor Scott Wehrli was among speakers who graciously addressed the audience with brief remarks.

“It’s our responsibility as a community to teach younger generations that the freedoms they enjoy today are due to a Veteran’s service in the past and to those actively serving now,” said Mayor Wehrli. “We also must honor and acknowledge the work our first responders here in Naperville who carry out the ideals of freedom daily that our Veterans fought for.”

The Mayor continued, “To every Veteran here today…On behalf of the entire City of Naperville, ‘Thank you.’ Those two words will never be enough. But we will never stop saying them.”

Mayor Wehrli also acknowledged VFW Post 3873 Commander Leo Jamie and American Legion Post 43 Commander Tom Jorstad for organizing the Veterans Day Ceremony.

“And thank you all for being here to honor our Veterans…”

Thankful thoughts and meaningful music accentuated the Veterans Day ceremony that honored all members of the military, past and present, for their service. Thanks to the Post Honor Guard. Thanks also to the Naperville Municipal Band for again playing the Armed Forces Medley to recognize all individuals who have served. (PN Photo)
Post Veterans Day Ceremony / After the large audience left the lawn to view The Wall, Mayor Scott Wehrli stayed behind with encouraging words for young U.S. Naval Sea Cadets to stay the course of service to their country. (PN Photo, 11-11-11 2023)

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY / November 11 at 11AM aka “11-11-11” 

DAY 4

All along the base of the memorial, friends, families and other loved ones have left tributes to men and women who served and sacrificed in Vietnam.
PANEL 4 W, LINE 23, DENNIS R. KABARA

DAY 5

Early Nov. 13, Vietnam Veterans stood ready to serve visitors at the Naperville Vietnam Wall of Remembrance along the Riverwalk on its final day for 2023. (PN Photo)

CLOSING CEREMONY
November 13 at 8PM

A large audience on the lawn faced the memorial as U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran Jim Oftedal, Chaplain of the VFW Post 3873, gave the invocation; and U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran Phil Maughan, Quartermaster for VFW Post 3873, provided gracious closing comments. The Final Salute was presented by the Joint Post Color and Honor Guards. (PN Photo)
Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hill, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. (PN Photo)

During the ceremonies listed above and on each night of the display at 8PM, an Honor Guard will perform “Taps” and conduct a three-volley rifle salute in memory of the fallen. The volleys signify “duty, honor, and sacrifice.” 

Vietnam Marine Veteran Wayne Fischer contributed greatly to this event and to this post. PN Photos.

Thank you, Wayne Fischer, and all veterans who served to protect this nation honorably!

Upcoming VFW events in this month of Thanksgiving…

With the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3878 in the background, a popular place for special events, Vietnam Veterans are serving as docents all day on the final day of the Vietnam Wall of Remembrance along the Riverwalk. (PN Photo)

Public invited Nov. 17 & Nov. 18 to friend-raisers at VFW

Win a Dance with a Hero for Toys for Tots on Nov. 17. Join members of the Naperville Marines, American Legion Post 43 and VFW Post 3873 to benefit Toys for Tots at the annual “Win a Dance with a Hero” to be held from 7PM to 10:30PM Fri., Nov. 17, at the VFW.

Raffles, a silent auction and karaoke will add to festivities to benefit Toys for Tots. Bring an unwrapped new toy and receive $5 off the $30 ticket price. Admission includes dinner and two beverages from the bar. The meal will be catered by Mission BBQ. Kindly RSVP to rios.nadia@gmail.com.

Turkey Raffle is 6PM Sat., Nov. 18. Come one, come all, for the fun of gobblers for everyone. Admission to attend the annual Turkey Raffle is free of charge. However, this Turkey Raffle is an important friend-and-fund raising event at the VFW, hosted by the VFW Post 3873 and Auxiliary. All generosity is appreciated.

Upstairs, the cash bar as well as ticket sales to participate in a variety of raffles and auctions will serve the fundraising event. Chef Terrell Cole, owner of Dark Horse Catering, returns as food purveyor for the evening. The dinner menu will include a variety of choices from $6 to $12.

On the main level, the Canteen also will be open. Everybody’s welcome!

Again, thank you to all veterans who served to protect this nation honorably!

Last Updated with PN Photos / Nov. 13, 2023

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Naperville Park District
Naperville Park Districthttp://www.napervilleparks.org/
Created in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent, municipal agency serving the recreation needs of its residents. An Illinois Distinguished Agency since 1994, the District is one of only 1% of park districts across the country to be nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. The District maintains and operates more than 2,400 acres with 137 parks and provides more than 1,500 recreational, arts and environmental programs and special events annually. Included within the District’s operations are two championship golf courses, a multitude of playgrounds, trails, athletic courts and sports fields, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, two inline skating and skateboarding facilities, the Millennium Carillon, a paddle boat quarry, historic Centennial Beach, and the beautiful Riverwalk.
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