More than 70 persons attended the Memorial Day service, hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 and Auxiliary, with the true meaning of the day reflected in “remembrance.” Auxiliary president Terry Adams welcomed the crowd and thanked them for coming and remembering.
Julia Doggett, American Legion Post 300 Chaplain, gave both the opening and closing prayers that were so meaningful. In the closing prayer, she said, “Thank you for this day set apart, where we have spent time in gratitude, remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. As we depart here, may we take with us a renewed appreciation of the loyalty and devotion of those who this day is for, and may we be more aware of how blessed we are as a Nation through their sacrifices.”
Nancy Smith, VFW Auxiliary Chair of Patriotism and City Clerk, gave a short speech emphasizing remembering, sorrow and connection. “Thank you for coming together on this Memorial Day to share in the honorable ritual of remembering…While we few pause in this one particular time and place for mourning, we are united with grief-stricken hearts in many other places today. We know that countless eyes are filling with tears elsewhere, and beautiful flowers are lying before stones marking precious lives lost… Whether the names of the dead still live on the tongues of loved ones or reside only in silence on listing tombstones in abandoned cemeteries, we gather to honor each and everyone. ”
“We remember the veterans young and old haunted by their own gruesome memories and by the faces of fellow soldiers taken out by one enemy or another. We remember the lost soldiers themselves, cut down while valiantly fighting for their beloved homeland, their communities and families. We remember those communities and families who struggle to go forward without them, who descend a path of sorrow. ”
Mayor Ruben Pineda gave the keynote address.“Good morning. It’s so wonderful to be with you today for the annual Memorial Day Observance, to honor and remember our fallen heroes. I would like to thank Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, its Ladies Auxiliary, members of the American Legion Post 300, its Ladies Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion, for inviting me to say a few words today. Last May, for the first time in memory, we were unable to gather for this very special holiday. The world faced a common enemy that disrupted a way of life for over a year — the COVID-19 pandemic. I know many in our community have suffered untold heartache and trials. As more than 13,000 West Chicagoans have now been vaccinated, we appear to be turning a corner. Nonetheless, we remain cautious and choose our entrance back to normalcy at our own comfort level and pace. It is significant that we have chosen to stand here today, at one of the first public gatherings since the easing of restrictions. That speaks volumes about what this day means to you and to me.
It brings us together in solidarity for the deep respect and gratitude we feel for the millions of service men and women over the course of our history who answered the call of duty and laid down their lives for us.The husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who put aside their own hopes and dreams for the future, because they believed in the sacred tenet of a simple, yet profound document on which our freedom is based. The unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness given to all humans by their creator, forms the basis of our democracy. They believed so strongly in those freedoms that they were willing to go to war and die for them. I stand here with you today, deeply grateful for this moment, to be able to honor generations of beloved family members, friends, and neighbors who have given their lives in the name of our freedom.
The hardship of these past many months has reminded us of the things that are most important in this life — faith, family, and country. Let us never forget the men and women who fought in wars near and far, to secure our freedom to enjoy the things we hold most dear. May God bless them, may God bless West Chicago, and may God bless the United States of America, the greatest country on earth thanks to their sacrifice.”
With the firing of the 21-gun salute and playing of “Taps,” all attending remembered those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our country.
As a side note: Many who attended extended their thanks to the VFW for having the service as it is such an important event to the community. Also VFW Post 6791 receives a donation of 240 eight-inch by 12-inch Valley Forge American stick flags from Murphy Ace Hardware. Ace Hardware Corporation donates one million flags for Memorial Day. “We applaud the VFW for the incredible support you have provided veterans worldwide for more than 120 years.”
AROUND AND ABOUT
“Recording Life’s Moments Through Photography” is on display through the end of June at Gallery 200,103 West Washington Street. The artwork is from the Chicago Art Partnerships in Education after school zoom class for third to fifth graders. Gallery hours are from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Fridays and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays. CAPE supports a wide range of creative art programs for West Chicago Elementary School District 33 students and their parents.
This program was conceived by fifth grade teacher Anna Leuer, who invited West Chicago resident and photographer Judith Horsley to be the art teacher. The students were introduced to the class objective of creating a photo diary. The CAPE supply stipend purchased small digital cameras for each student to use. During each lesson, students were informed on an informational text that related to the theme of the day. For example, students learned about International Women’s Day, the origin of St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day and Mother’s Day. Students wrote narratives into their photo journal about the uploaded photos taken for each theme. Individual photo journal entries were shared each day with the class.
More than 20 households are participating in the Community Garage Sale of the Willow Creek Townhome Association Community Garage Sale, entry at Arbor Avenue and Charlestown Road (off of Route 59). There are directional signs. It takes place from 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, June 10, Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 13, 2021.
In partnership with Cantigny Park, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosts a Civics Awareness program at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 10, 2021, via Zoom. Rosemary Heilemann presents the program, “The Electoral College: Is It Time for It To Be Abolished?” She discusses the viability of the Electoral College. She gives the history and talks about the impact on democracy in the US and offers a plan for a change.To make a reservation visit my.lwv.org/illinois/wheaton/calendar/civic-awareness. A Zoom link to access the presentation is sent two days prior to the event. Heilemann is a 40-year member of the League of Women Voters of Illinois and a founding member of the LWVIL Electoral College Committee. She belongs to the LWV Deerfield/Lincolnshire.
League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.
During the months of June, July and August, the West Chicago City Museum History at Home Craft Kits are available from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month, beginning June 12, 2021, in front of the Museum, 132 Main Street. The kits are designed for children ages five to nine, but all ages can have fun with them. They contain four activities and a local history booklet. Supplies are limited and once they are gone, the Museum will post in the event. For individuals who live in West Chicago and cannot make it to the event, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org and the kit will be delivered to the door. For further information send a Facebook message or email email@example.com.
West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street, begins its Summer Reading Program: “Color Your World,” Saturday, June 12, 2021.There are packs available for children, teens and adults.
St, Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street, begins in-person worship services at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13, 2021. (www.merleburl.com)
Turtle Splash Water Park, 129 West National Street, is open from Sunday, June 13, through Saturday, August 7, 2021. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Daily admission is for anyone entering the facility regardless of age or intention to swim. The rate is $10 for residents; $15 for non-residents. Season passes are not available for the 2021 season. 2020 passes sold for 2020 are honored. For further information visit the website www.we-goparks.org/turtle-splash-water-park. (www.merleburl.com)
Sunday Bingo, hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 Auxiliary, returns Sunday, June 13, 2021, at the post, 431 North Neltnor Boulevard. Doors open at noon and Bingo starts at 1:30 p.m.
The Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services second Online Mini Auction ends at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, June 13, 2021. Bidding is at go.rallyup.com/juneraffle. It is a get Away package. Travel Advantage Network provides an 8-day/7-night condominium/hotel vacation for up to four people from one of their excess inventory vacation destinations. Tickets price is $20 with only 100 tickets available. WAYS is a not-for-profit service agency, providing counseling in English and Spanish, parenting and anger management classes in English and Spanish, one-to-one tutoring and senior computer classes.
Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. On August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. It is not an official federal holiday. Remember to display your flag.
The last day of school at West Chicago Community High School is Monday, June 14, 2021.
West Chicago City Museum presents the Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at Don Earley Park, 840 East Washington Street. The book is “Frida In America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist” by Celia Stahr. To get a copy of the book or for further information, visit Friends of West Chicago City Museum website, wegohistory.com or call (630) 231-3376. It is not necessary to read the book to attend.
The book is an in-depth biography of the three years (1930 to 1933) Frida Kahlo spent in America, a place she could not always understand. Yet it was here that her feelings of being in a strange land that fueled her creative passions and a stronger sense of Mexican identity. Stahr is a professor at the University of San Francisco, where she specializes in modern American and contemporary art with an emphasis on feminist art and gender studies, as well as African and multicultural art. (www.merleburl.com)
Healthy West Chicago hosts a free virtual family cooking class, “White Bean Avocado Wrap with Northwest Apple Salad,” at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021, via Zoom. Chef Maria gives tips on eating healthy, saving time in the kitchen and involving children in food preparation, plus demonstrates how to make the featured recipe. Recipe ingredients are provided to the first 25 registered participants. The day to pick up supplies at the West Chicago Public Library will be communicated to those who registered first. To register visit healthywestchicago.org/newevents. For further information email Carly Smitherman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630-230-6370.
First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 West Washington Street, hosts a free COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, June 19, 2021. To register, visit www.firstumcucc.org. ((www.merleburl.com)
Support Over Stigma presents PTSD vs. Moral Injury event from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 19, 2021, in the Outdoor Pavilion at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. The keynote speakers are James H. Mukoyama, Jr., Major General, US Army retired; Chappy Ferrer, US Army; and Zoeie Kreiner, founder and CEO of Support Over Stigma. For further information, call (630) 492-0308 or email INFO@SupportOverStigma.org.
Healthy West Chicago hosts a free virtual family cooking class, “Blackened Fish with Strawberry Kiwi Sauce,” at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, via Zoom. Chef Maria gives tips on eating healthy, saving time in the kitchen and involving children in food preparation, plus demonstrates how to make the featured recipe. Recipe ingredients are provided to the first 25 registered participants. The day to pick up supplies at the West Chicago Public Library will be communicated to those who registered first. To register visit healthywestchicago.org/newevents. For further information email Carly Smitherman at: email@example.com or call 630-230-6370. (ww.merleburl.com)
Support our local businesses. Sonny Acres, 29W310 North Avenue, is open with amusement rides, pony rides, petting zoo and more. Activities take place at certain times and days. The farm is closed Mondays and Tuesday, the farm fresh store and self feed zoo is from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays. Kitchen and amusement rides are open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For further information, call (630) 231-3459. (www.merleburl.com)
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. The clinic is for persons age 18 and older. To make an appointment, call the Church office at (630) 231-3787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A COVID-19 testing site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in a VNA Health Care Mobile at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road. There is no charge. Appointments are required and may be made at (630) 892-4355 or (847) 717-6455
The DuPage County Health Department developed a dashboard to provide information on the total number of people, in DuPage County, who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the dashboard includes a map which shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality and is updated at 4:00 p.m. daily. DuPage County’s “COVID-19 Dashboard” is a one-stop-shop for all the information it offers including a town-by-town breakdown of cases. As of Monday, May 31, 2021, there were 4,697 cases and 52 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.
To keep residents aware of community COVID-19 updates, the City has posted West Chicago’s COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS CENTER on its website, www.westchicago.org. It is located on the upper left-hand side in red. Clicking on this, residents can see the latest information.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Alfonso Perez Cruz, who at the age of 83 passed away Monday, May 31, 2021.
Deepest sympathy to the family of Mary Alice Cowden, who at the age of 85 passed away Sunday, June 6, 2021.
Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Donald E. Rericka, who at the age of 84 passed away Friday, June 4, 2021.
CORRECTION: Kathy Hummel and Bill Birch celebrated their 42nd Wedding Anniversary Friday, May 27, 2021, not their 35th. Another anniversary correction due to typographical error. I do have trouble with numbers and spell check does not help with that. Mel and Anita Wuest celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary June 5, 2021, not their 55th.
At the West Chicago Community High School Honors Convocation Tuesday, June 1, 2021, many students were recognized for their achievements
Receiving the Thorium Action Group/Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation Scholarship Endowment Fund were Emily Ayala, Emily Bramas, Coen Garling, Sarah Gramit, Ruby Lebo, Dulce Reyes and Brock Ullman. Joanna Velazquez received the Houston Pineda Memorial Scholarship. Receiving the Lee Yunker Scholarship Award was Charles Cardenas. Recipient of the West Chicago High School Teacher’s Association Sharon L. Bokker Memorial Scholarship was Leo Aguilar. The Female Athlete of the Year is Shailee Patel, Girls Basketball. The Male Athlete of the Year is David Kuehn, Boys Soccer.
West Chicago Church of Christ held its second Walk4Water fundraiser, which was quite successful. The goal was to raise $7,500, which is the cost to drill a new well or repair an existing one. The Clean Water program provides water wells and filters for those who would otherwise be drinking dirty, unhealthy water. A clean water well in the community allows people to pursue education, agriculture, and work opportunities rather than spending hours searching for a water source. (www.merleburl.com)
In the Daily Herald Reader’s Choice Top Picks, St. Andrew Country Club was one the five best selected for Best Driving Range and Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital was selected Best Hospital.
At the Monday, June 7, 2021, meeting, City Council approved the appointment of Colin M. Fleury as Chief of Police, effective Monday, June 28,2021, and also the employment agreement.
Council approved the appointment of Ward 1 Alderman Lori Chassee as Mayor Pro Term.
Also approved were appointments and reappointments to commissions. Hannah Billinglsey was appointed to the Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals for a term ending 2923. She replaces Christine Dettmann who was elected alderman of Ward 3. Reappointed to Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals were David Kasprak and Barb Laimins with terms ending in 2026. Reappointed to the Historical Preservation Commission were Richard Vigsnes, Bill Andrews and Keith E. Letsche with terms ending 2024. Reappointed to the Environmental Commission was Kristine Zimmerman with a term ending in 2024.
Staff members retiring from West Chicago Elementary School District 33 are Cheryl Mizak, 11 years; Linda Rooney, 18 years; Myriam Del Salto, 21 years; Susan Salak, 21 years; Deb Clifford, 21 years; Roxanne Hamlin, 22 years; Emilie Pollman, 24 years; Alice Danilovich, 25 years; Sandy Warner, 26 years; Susan Smith, 27 years; Eileen Kearney, 29 years; Heidi Dineen; 30 years; Melanie Dixon, 34 years; Shelly Heyer, 34 years; and Nancy Schmidt, 36 years.
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