Sep 25 2021
The Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument project is about to become a reality.
On Sun., Sept. 26, a ceremonial groundbreaking will take place at Veterans Park, located at 301 E. Gartner Road. The public is invited.
As guests arrive, a prelude of patriotic music will be performed by the Naperville Municipal Band beginning at 1:45PM.
Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Committee Co-chair Jennifer Slown will present opening remarks at 2PM.
Gold Star families, Naperville city officials, Park District Board members and past and present military organization leaders will be in attendance.
The Naperville Men’s Glee Club will perform along with the VFW and American Legion combined Color and Honor Guards.
Members of the committee who brought this effort to life in Naperville will share their vision and gratitude.
The monument, sponsored by Naperville’s Century Walk Foundation and the Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, will be erected to honor the Naperville families of servicemen and -women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the military.
Naperville has lost 127 citizens in the service of our country over the years. Sunday’s ceremony sets in motion the final stages of a two-year-long effort to bring this commemoration, honoring the unintentional victims of war: the families of the fallen.
Gold Star Families Memorial monuments are 7-foot-tall, 15-foot long, two-sided tributes fabricated from black granite.
One side bears a large gold star with the words “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument … A tribute to Gold Star Families and relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.”
The other side will tell a local story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. At the center of this tribute is a silhouette of a military servicemember who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Each monument includes a granite explanation marker, which serves to educate visitors about the monument design, meaning, and local committee.
Support for this effort has been constant and impactful, such as generous donations from the Naperville Freemasons, Naperville Responds For Veterans, the American Legion Riders, City of Naperville SECA Fund; plus land and assistance were received from the Naperville Park District. Numerous donations from other organizations, businesses and many individuals also have served the project.
Furthermore, the Naperville Park District has made, and will continue to make, improvements to the property, including installing an ADA sidewalk from the parking lot to the monument, security cameras, updated hardware for the existing Veterans’ Memorial flag poles, and more.
All citizens of the Naperville area are welcomed to be a part of the completion of this memorial project. Donations can be made at https://hwwmohf.kindful.com/?campaign=1064773.
For more information about the Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument effort at https://woodywilliams.org/monuments/naperville-il.html.
Seating will be provided for Gold Star Families. Attendees might want to bring a collapsible chair. Parking will be available in the Grace Church lot across Gartner Road.
Story submitted by Lisa Murtaugh for the Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Committee.