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Naperville is Set to Construct Gold Star Families Memorial at Veterans Park - UPDATED

April 28 2021
Positively Naperville

Update, April 28, 2021 / The Naperville Freemasons have announced that in recognition and honor of Oliver Julian Kendall, their Masonic Brother, “Our Fraternal organization has committed a significant amount to put the Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial funding over the top,” said Paul Felstrup, a member of Naperville’s oldest service organization.

“Oliver Julian Kendall was our Masonic Brother back in the early 1900s and we consider ourselves a Gold Star Family,” Felstrup explained, noting that Naperville Masonic Temple Association Board of Directors President Don Cowart presided over the meeting that unanimously voted to support the important award to Century Walk, allowing the project to move forward.

Born in Naperville on December 30, 1888, Oliver Julian “Judd” Kendall became an American hero. Written reports note that on May 25, 1918, at age 28, Kendall was captured leading an infantry patrol of 50 men to string barbed wire near the front of American defensive positions. With full knowledge of what days later would become, the first American offensive of World War I, an attack on the village of Cantigny, France, Kendall refused to talk to the enemy that had taken him prisoner. His refusal to divulge information was considered “the most vital single incident of the entire war.”

Kendall is honored locally by the Naperville VFW, Naperville Judd Kendall Memorial Way, Kendall Park and the Oliver Julian Kendall Elementary School in School District 204.

Kendall is buried in France. The opportunity to support the Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial will help tell this story about one of Naperville’s fine young men as well as all other heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom, added Felstrup.

Fundraising for the Gold Star Families Memorial, such as the “Remember Everyone Deployed” t-shirt sale and photo promotion (details coming soon), will continue. Additional funds will help cover incidental costs such as installation, dedication, long-term care and maintenance as well as other unforeseen expenses, according to Century Walk officials.

In related news at Veterans Park, the Naperville Park District is planning to renovate the driveway apron and pavers as part of several improvements in progress this spring. The driveway work requires temporary closure of the parking lot from Thurs., April 29, to Mon., May 10. The 2021 improvements also include installation of new flagpoles and uplighting. Replacement of the flagpoles began in February and the entire project is planned to be complete by Memorial Day, May 31.

Update, April 17, 2021 / Click here for a photo tour of the Gold Star Families Memorial located in a park in Lafayette, Ind. On April 15, Lew Breese, Marty Walker and Jim Hoch took a whirlwind trip to Lafayette, Indiana, to visit their Gold Star Family Memorial, akin to the one being planned for Naperville. Of course, Hoch took photos that he posted on line for the world to see and share.

“The park is definitely going to be something special as a Veterans Memorial, including this Gold Star Family Memorial,” noted Hoch.

Read the original news story.