Hundreds of people who lined the streets in downtown Naperville raised to their feet as Grand Marshal Bob Reiger led the Memorial Day parade.
Reiger served in the Army Air Corps as a member of a B-29 flight crew in the Pacific. His aircraft made one of the first emergency landings on Okinawa.
Dozens of veterans including Mayor Pradel, a United States Marine Corps veteran, were honored in the parade hosted by Naperville’s two veterans organizations the Judd Kendall VFW and the American Legion Post #43.
People clapped and waived American flags for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“[It’s] honoring the people who gave their lives and actually everybody, not just the ones that gave their lives but the ones who served for us so that we can come to the parades. It’s a great thing to instill in the grandkids,” said Naperville resident John Murr.
There are nearly 7,000 former soldiers that live in Naperville, which makes up almost 8% of the population. For residents, what better way to say thanks than a parade?
“Every year we go to this one so it’s like a big family event. It’s a day to honor soldiers and it’s a day of remembrance,” said Naperville North High School sophomore, Jillian French.
“It’s remembering all of the armies and the soldiers and celebrating them,” said Naperville resident Gracie Makris.
The meaning of Memorial Day will extend past this weekend as the newly completed Fallen Soldier memorial stands in Veteran’s Plaza on Jackson and Webster.
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