Veterans from World War II and the Korean conflict will be the center of attention in Gilberts on Aug. 11.
On that day and in that village, they will be special guests of the Northern Fox Valley and the True Patriots Care Foundation. They will march in a parade, enjoy music from the U.S. Navy Band, watch and take part in a mile run and walk, eat hamburgers and hot dogs at a barbecue, watch a movie and a fireworks display.
They won't be the only guests of honor, though. Rosie the Riveters, women who worked in jobs to support the victory efforts during World War II, will also be in the limelight.
This daylong celebration, called "Remembering '45," will be held in Gilberts Town Center Park. It is designed to praise a vanishing era of men and women who served their country during critical times, said Jerry Christopherson, the foundation's president.
"There are less than 1 million World War II veterans still alive," Christopherson said. "We're losing hundreds of them every day. The foundation is holding this on Aug. 11 because World War II ended in Japan in August 1945.
"Korean (Conflict) veterans are in the next generation of soldiers who are dying because of age. This year we want to let them know their sacrifices are appreciated."
The Korean conflict started on June 25, 1950, and ended with an armistice July 27, 1953.
Along with their elder comrades, all veterans will be honored and remembered with an American Red Cross blood drive from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the park, Route 72 and Center Drive.
"The drive is symbolic of the blood drives and the work the Red Cross did during both wars," he said.
The parade will begin at 3 p.m. Units will begin lining up at 2 p.m. at Tyrell Road and Town Center Boulevard. Units will march west on Town Center Boulevard and turn left on Center Street to Rollyn Anderson Road.
A week before the "Remember '45" event, on Aug. 4, foundation members will host a Motorcycle Scavenger Hunt and Bike run starting at noon at The Point Bar and Grill, Route 72, Gilberts.
For more information about the run or "Remembering '45," contact Christopherson at (630) 730-0558. Information and entry forms for the parade and other events on Aug. 11 can be viewed on the foundation's website, www.mapleparklegion.org/download/aug11veteransinformationpacket.pdf.