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Naperville’s 9/11 Tribute In Light

Two twin beams of light shot into the sky from the east lawn of Naperville’s City Hall, as a tribute to those lost on 9-11.

“These two carbon arc searchlights were built in 1939 and they actually were used in Europe during WWII to look for planes, for enemy planes,” explained event organizer, Martin Walker.

The lights were brought to Naperville to be shown each night from September 8th through the 11th as a silent but powerful reminder of the nearly 3,000 people killed 15 years ago.

The event holds a special significance to Walker, himself a firefighter for 40 years.

“In the fire service we’re all brothers by different mothers. So as far as we are concerned I lost, along with all the firefighters across the country, we lost 343 of our brothers,” he said, adding, “This is something we can never ever forget. We need to teach our children about terrorism and terrorists and how we should never ever allow this to happen again.”

The lights are accompanied by the playing of Taps each night, and are just part of a remembrance that includes a special service on 9/11. That event singles out Naperville’s own Dan Shanower, a naval officer killed at the Pentagon. His memory now lives on each year in sculpture, light and song.



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