Marmion Academy's JROTC cadets march in the Veterans Day parade last year in downtown Aurora. | Beacon News file photo
Updated: December 5, 2013 6:16AM
The city of Aurora has announced details of the annual Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 11.
The parade will step off at 10:15 a.m. from the corner of Broadway Avenue (Route 25) and Benton Street, and will travel north on Broadway, then west on Downer Place to the GAR Memorial Hall, 23 E. Downer, where the “Honoring All Who Served” ceremony will take place.
The ceremony will conclude with a military rifle salute by veteran organizations at 11:11 a.m., the exact time the armistice was signed that ended World War I.
Groups participating in the parade include the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84, Waidley VFW Post 468, AMVETS Post 103, Fox Valley Marines, the City of Aurora Veteran’s Advisory Council, Marmion Academy Flannigan Rifles, East Aurora High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, Chicago Highland Rifles, Aurora Police Honor/Color Guard units, Aurora Fire Department Honor Guard and many local organizations.
Wesley Yi, a Vietnam veteran who currently serves as a Veterans Service Officer with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, is the ceremony’s keynote speaker.
Yi served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1968, spending his last year in Vietnam as an Army artillery officer with the 1st Infantry Division, III Corps. He was stationed in Lai Khe and fought in the 1968 Tet offensive. Yi was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medal and an Army Commendation Medal for his service.
After his discharge from the Army, Yi went on to a long and distinguished business career and held executive-level management positions in high-tech electronics companies in Connecticut and suburban Chicago. He also served as an adjunct professor at Robert Morris University and taught marketing.
In his current position, Yi is responsible for working with veterans, their spouses and dependents to assure they are receiving maximum benefits through various local, state and federal programs; acts as a liaison with numerous veterans organizations and private sector benefits providers; and helps interpret laws and changes in existing laws as they relate to veterans.
A Chicago native and Aurora resident, Yi has been married for 43 years to his wife Ute. The couple has four children: sons Jamison, a U.S. Marine Corps major who is preparing for his third deployment to the Middle East in April; Randell, an Air Force captain and pilot instructor stationed in Alamogordo, N.M.; and Jordan, a high school band instructor. Daughter Natalie works in the surgical technology field. The couple also has five grandchildren.
Event parking will be available at any of the free municipal surface lots throughout the downtown.
The city of Aurora is inviting all area Vietnam veterans to march as a single unit during the parade. Those interested in marching should contact the city’s Special Events Division at 630-256-3370 or by email at email@example.com.
The parade and ceremony are sponsored by the city of Aurora and the Aurora Veteran’s Advisory Council. The events culminate several days of community honors for veterans including:
The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display Nov. 8 to 11 at West Aurora High School, 1201 W. New York St. Information is available at www.vietnammovingwallaurora.org.
The Healing Field, featuring thousands of American flags that pay tribute to all U.S. military men and women, will also be on display at West High, through Nov. 13. Information is at www.aplusfoundation.org.
“Aurora in the Vietnam Era, 1961-1975” will be on display Nov. 8 to Dec. 28 at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The exhibit is sponsored by the Aurora Historical Society and includes oral stories and lectures. For information, log onto www.aurorahistory.net.