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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Volunteers will begin placing flags to honor Veterans at Blue Star Memorial


Updated Post, May 25, 2024 / James Hoch Photography captures four days of the annual volunteer flag-placing initiative at local cemeteries to honor Veterans for Memorial Day…

With gratitude to all, Hoch added, “This just is simply the century of the cicada….they were everywhere, but nothing would stop us on our mission to place the flags on our Veterans final resting place!” 

Original Post, May 20, 2024 / At 8:30AM Tues., May 21, 2024, local Veterans and volunteers will begin a four-day initiative to place more than 3,100 American flags at Veteran memorials in Naperville and Veterans’ gravesites at local cemeteries in advance of Memorial Day, Mon., May 27.

The first group will begin alongside the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, 908 W. Jackson Avenue. Four flags will be planted near the Blue Star Memorial sponsored by the Cress Creek Garden Club.

Veterans and volunteers also are welcomed to help with the annual flag placement beginning at 8:30AM Wed., May 23, at the VFW.

Organizers request for volunteers to arrive 15 minutes early on Tuesday and Wednesday in order to depart by vehicles to local cemeteries promptly.

Next up meet at 9AM Fri., May 24, at the Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, N. Columbia at E. North streets; then at 9AM Sat., May 25, at Naperville Cemetery, 705 S. Washington Street. Instructions will be provided. Volunteers for Friday and Saturday are encouraged to “just show up” at 9AM.

What is a Blue Star Memorial?

Back in July 2022, Naperville Gardener columnist Marilyn Krueger wrote a story about the two Blue Star Memorial Markers in Naperville titled “I Pay Tribute to our Armed Forces!”

Krueger’s column is reposted below to provide a little history about the two markers placed here as well as all the other Blue Star Memorial markers throughout this nation.

The Blue Star Memorial alongside the Judd Kendall VFW Post was sponsored by the Cress Creek Garden Club in cooperation with local Veterans organizations. (PN File Photo by Jim Hoch)

Super Power of the Month… ‘I Pay Tribute to our Armed Forces!’

Naperville is fortunate to be home to two Blue Star Memorial Markers. Yes, two! These markers take their name from the blue star in the Blue Star Banner, often displayed in homes with a family member who is serving in the Armed Forces.

At the end of World War II, the group now known as National Garden Clubs, Inc., was looking for a way to honor service men and women. They started by beautifying our highways and soon a Blue Star Memorial Highway system was outlined going both north to south and east to west. A marker was designed and many can be found throughout the country, along our highways and also now in national cemeteries and other civic locations.

Take a look at the Facebook Page, Blue Stars over Illinois, for lots of pictures of these markers. The Naperville Garden Club and Cress Creek Garden Club are members of National Garden Clubs, Inc. and participate in this project.

You also will see the recent rededication of one on June 14 (2022) near Rockford. This marker had been scheduled to be rededicated after being refurbished two years ago to celebrate its 50th anniversary. COVID delayed the celebration and perhaps it was an especially meaningful ceremony because we appreciated being able to be together to pay tribute to our Armed Forces.

A Blue Star Memorial Marker is located on the north side of Burlington Square Park where two sculptures by E.M. Viquesney (“Spirit of the American Navy” and “Spirit of the American Doughboy”) on the Century Walk tour also are located in this historic park across from the train depot. (PN Photo)

The Naperville Garden Club sponsored a Marker in cooperation with the Naperville Park District and the City of Naperville. It is located in Burlington Square Park near the downtown train station.

Cress Creek Garden Club placed a marker at the VFW on Jackson Avenue in cooperation with the Naperville American Legion Post 43 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3873 and its Auxiliary.

Both Markers are in areas that are beautifully landscaped as a reminder for us all to remember those who help to keep us safe and free. Please stop by Naperville’s Blue Star Memorial Markers, look for others as you travel (150 have been placed in Illinois) and take a moment to pay tribute to all these special men and women.  —Marilyn Krueger

Editor’s Note / During a trip to Mason City, Iowa, we ventured off the highway to explore a trail in a local park where we discovered a Blue Star Memorial in City of Brandon.

(PN Photo 2022)

The tribute is one of more than 3,000 Blue Star Markers, Memorial Markers, and By-Way Markers throughout the U.S., a program started in 1945 after World War II and now coordinated by National Garden Clubs, Inc. Find the markers in national cemeteries, parks, veterans’ facilities and gardens—and remember to note two right here in Naperville. —PN

2024 Memorial Day Schedule

Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, American Legion Post 43 and the Naperville Municipal Band will conduct their annual Memorial Day observance with wreath-laying activities and a parade on Mon., May 27, 2024. 

7:45AM – CDR Dan Shanower / Sept. 11 Memorial (Along Riverwalk behind City Hall)

8:15AM – G.A.R. Monument in Naperville Cemetery (south side of cemetery)

8:35AM – Veterans Park & Gold Star Families Memorial  (100 E. Gartner Road)

9AM – Ss. Peter & Paul Cemetery (911 North Avenue)

9:25AM – Burlington Square Park (307 N. Ellsworth Street)

10:30AM –  Memorial Day Parade steps off along Jackson Avenue to Main Street to Benton Avenue. Strike up the Naperville Municipal Band with gratitude to all who have sacrificed while serving honorably to protect this nation.

12PM Noon – Memorial Day Observance Ceremony in Central Park / Members of the community are invited to a 30-minute tribute with banners commemorating all wars and local fallen members of the military, wreath laying, patriotic music by the Naperville Municipal Band, brief speeches, the Armed Services Medley as well as gratitude to all families that gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces. 

3PM – Observe National Moment of Remembrance. Take a moment to remember the significance of the day that includes more than BBQ’s, pool openings and parades to kick off the summer season.  Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance by observing one minute of silence at 3PM, a time to honor military veterans and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving this nation, including the 114 residents of Naperville that died while on Active Duty.

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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.