New route for Veterans Day parade
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org November 8, 2012 2:22PM
Updated: November 8, 2012 6:38PM
AURORA — As construction on the Downer Place bridges continues, the city’s Veterans Day parade will be relocated to Illinois Avenue Sunday.
The event is being moved to the Illinois Avenue bridge over the Fox River and Veterans Island. The parade will step off at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at the Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., and will head east down Illinois Avenue to Veterans Island.
This year’s “Honoring All Who Served” ceremony will follow the processional at Veterans Island. A special recognition will be made for Norris “Doc” Erickson, longtime American Legion Post 84 commander who died earlier this year.
The ceremony will conclude with a military rifle salute by veterans organizations at 11 a.m.
Groups participating in the processional include the Fox Valley Marine Corps League, Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84, Waidley VFW Post 468, AMVETS Post 103, the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council, Marmion Academy Flannigan Rifles, East Aurora High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Chicago Highland Rifles, Aurora Police Honor/Color Guard units and the Aurora Fire Department Honor Guard.
Erickson served in the U.S. Army from 1965-67, stationed in Panama. He moved to Aurora in 1976 and opened the Erickson Chiropractic Center. He also was instrumental in bringing the Moving Vietnam Wall to Aurora in 1989, the renaming of Veterans Island (and the island’s memorial that honors all veterans), and spurring the Legion to raise money to maintain Aurora’s Fourth of July Parade in 2011.
“With his special pride and devotion to veterans, he built Memorial Island,” said Frank Gordon of the Fox Valley Marines.
East Aurora speaker
Lt. Commander Darryl Person, who served 20 years in the U.S. Navy and now heads up the East Aurora NJROTC, is the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
After retiring from active duty in 2009, Person assumed the role of senior naval science instructor at East Aurora High School. He currently leads a unit of more than 900 cadets, the largest program in the nation.
Parking for Sunday’s ceremonies will be available at the Prisco Center, the parking lot across the street from the Prisco Center and the Fox Valley Park District Cole Center, 101 W. Illinois Ave.
The Fox Valley Marines will also host a small ceremony of placing a wreath at the island’s memorial that honors all veterans. Gordon asked Gold Star families and families of veterans interested in participating in the ceremony to contact him at 630-392-6330.