Thursday, May 28, 2009

Naperville Sun - "Cloudy Day Can't Put Damper On Parade"


Monday morning was cloudy, but the weather held up for the Judd Kendall Post No. 3873 VFW and American Legion Post No. 43's 92nd annual Memorial Day parade.

NCTV news anchor/reporter Dolly McCarthy emceed the parade with Councilman and Vietnam veteran John Rosanova.

Members of Naperville's American Legion started it all at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of Jackson and West streets followed by the Naperville Municipal Band, which celebrated its 150th year.

"It's a big tradition with us," said trumpeter Dan Tromblay. The band practices once per week year-round and performs every Thursday in the summer.

The grand marshal this year was Rear Adm. Michael J. Browne of the United States Navy and his family. Following behind him was parade marshal Wayne Fisher and officer of the day Priscilla Laubscher.

Gold Star parents George and Deb Obourn, Ralph and Ruth Sieben, the Shanowers and Doug and Marie Pokorny followed in a line of vintage Chevrolet Bel-Airs, Mustangs, Town and Countrys and others. Gold Star parents are those who sacrificed a son or daughter in the line of duty.

George E. Laws, a survivor of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, was a highlight of the parade. He was aboard the ship when it was attacked July 30, 1945.

Fourteen bands played, including those from Lincoln Junior High School, St. Raphael, Gregory Middle School, Jefferson Junior High School, Neuqua Valley High School, Crowe Middle School, Thayer J. Hill Middle School, Naperville North High School, Washington Junior High School, Scullen Middle School, Madison Junior High School, Naperville Central High School, the Kennedy Eagles and the SS Peter %26 Paul school marching band.

A number of various Scout packs and troops marched as well.

Twenty-one Cub Scout packs marched as well as Troop 1778, Brownie Troops 1703, 884 and 1073 and Girl Scout Troop 50206.

Other highlights included the Bolingbrook Cavalcade of Planes, which featured a large, wingless "Thunderbird" from the Illinois Aviation Museum, the Naperville Knights of Columbus, the U.S. Marine Corps, Operation Support Our Troops, Rockin' For The Troops, the Kiwanis Club of Naperville-Evening, the Naperville Field of Honor, the Fort Payne chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps and the Ghost Riders Squadron.

Naperville resident Gary McLain came to see his daughter in Naperville Central's Spirit Flag Team.

"Aside from that, my favorite part of it all is honoring the soldiers," he said.

Naperville resident Steve Adelson missed the beginning of the parade, but enjoyed the high school bands.

"They were very professional and well-organized," Adelson said. "They were not like kids at all. It was very nicely done."

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