This Memorial Day will take on a deeper meaning for Christian Sanchez, a 13-year-old boy from Carpentersville whose great-uncle, Army First Lt. Ronald Wolter, was killed in action during the Vietnam War.
Two weeks before the national holiday, Christian, a seventh-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School in East Dundee, visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall on a class trip to Washington, D.C., found his great uncle's name and, at his mother's and grandmother's request, made four etchings of it from the wall. One was for his mother, Jamie; one was for his grandmother, Pam Vogelmann; one was for his 9-year-old brother, Joshua; and one was for himself.
Many chaperones and friends were kind enough to help Christian locate his great uncle's name.
As well, Christian was the only student in the group with a third-generation relative remembered on the wall.
"It made me proud to know that a family member was in the war and died for our country representing us," Christian said. "It was just amazing to see his name on that wall of all those people that died."
Wolter, a Carpentersville native, was in the last class to graduate from Dundee Community High School in 1965 before it became Dundee-Crown High School, according to his sister, Vogelmann, also Christian's grandmother. Wolter enlisted after receiving a draft notice and after basic training, he was sent to a special school for pilots. He graduated from there as a first lieutenant, she said.
He had been fighting in Vietnam for 12 days before he was killed in combat Oct. 31, 1968, Vogelmann said. Wolter was 21 and left behind a wife and a baby daughter.
"None of my kids ever knew him," said Vogelmann, who was 19 when her brother was killed. "He died before they were even thought of."
In 2006, Carpentersville honored Wolter in 2006 by naming a band shell after him in Carpenter Park.
"We were blown away by that," Vogelmann said.
The family plans on spending part of Memorial Day visiting the graves of Wolter and of William Wolter, a relative who fought in World War II as a marine -- both men are buried at Windridge Memorial Park and Sanctuary in Cary.
Later on, the family will get together for a barbecue, according to Christian's mother, Jamie.
All the while, Christian says he will be remembering his great-uncle's sacrifice and his name at the memorial.
"It'll be more of a memory to think about," Christian said.
Hurry up and get your pool passes: Pool passes for Dolphin Cove Family Aquatic Center and Sleepy Hollow Pool are now on sale through the end of May. Buy a pool pass by May 31 and you'll receive a discounted price as well a special gift, while supplies last, of a Dundee Township Park District Aquatics beach bag filled with coupons redeemable at various park district locations. Prices will increase June 1.
Dolphin Cove and Sleepy Hollow pool will be open full time for the summer beginning Saturday, May 25. Bring the entire family for a relaxing, fun-filled day.
For information, call the Dundee Township Park District at (847) 428-7131. Visit www.dtpd.org this summer to view the aquatic summer special events.
New website for Fox River Grove: Fox River Grove has launched a new website, one with a new design that promises to promote better customer service.
For example, residents can now receive local news updates to their smartphones or computer, the website's mobile version is easier to see on smartphones and tablets and public records are now in a centralized location.
You can also pay your utility bills, sign up for e-news and request services -- all on the website.
"The new homepage lets us better showcase our offerings and highlights events and happenings in the village," Village President Robert Nunamaker said in a statement. "We wanted to create a website that was informative, easy to use, and provided numerous e-government initiatives that would allow residents to access municipal business from the comforts of their home 24 hours a day, at their convenience."
Be sure to check out the new website at www.foxrivergrove.org.
• Lenore Adkins covers Huntley, Algonquin, Carpentersville the Dundees, Sleepy Hollow, Hampshire, Grafton Township, Cary and Fox River Grove. To reach her, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 608-2725.