November 11th is set aside every year to honor those who risked their lives everyday. Across the nation and here in Naperville, we celebrate military men and women with ceremonies on Veteran’s Day. Elementary children may not remember WWII, served in Korea, or even been alive on September 11th 2001, but they still know how to thank veterans. At Highlands Elementary School students invited their dads, grandpas, and neighbors that served in the Armed Forces for a special ceremony and flag raising.
“I feel really proud of my dad and I’m really proud of him for serving our country and working in the Navy,” said Gabby Trespalacios, 5th grader at Highlands Elementary School.
“My family is very supportive of everything that I’ve done,” said Alex Trespalacios, United States Navy Veteran. “They tell me all the time. I feel like I really don’t deserve it because I just did my job and my duty.”
After the celebration the vets went to class with the students to meet the next generation.
“It shows me that the passion for the military is still there and I can rest assured that when I am in my retirement years that I can know that there are young men and women that will be defending our country well into the future,” said Trespalacios.
Later in the day, the City of Naperville held it’s annual celebration at Veteran’s Park. The observance began with a moment of silence, honoring the origin of the holiday, the end of violence during WWI on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The Naperville Municipal Band played patriotic songs, and members of the military gave a 21-gun salute.
“It’s a wonderful movement and an emblem once a year to remember not only who did survive, but those who were left behind saving us,” said Oliver K. Burrows, United States Air Force Veteran.
“I met a lot of other soldiers out there and we made some good friends, most of them are gone now, but I like to come out here and remember them all,” said James Toman, a WWII Veteran.
Nearly 100 heroes stood proud against the wall, from the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan to WWII.
“It’s memorable to have them out here,” said Troy Barry, a Sergeant in the United States Army National Guard. “Those are the guys that started this. They did it before we did. We need them just as much as we need the ones that are going to be doing it tomorrow.”
The Naperville community will continue to honor our heroes beyond Veteran’s Day
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