Safe DuPage celebrating law enforcement on July 4
Naperville's fireworks are being shot off from the south side of town and the debut of The Naperville Salute has been postponed until 2021, but there is one Fourth of July event planned to bring patriotism to the downtown Saturday.
Safe DuPage, an organization formed by Naperville City Council member Kevin Coyne, is hosting "Celebrating Naperville's Heroes: 4th of July" at 9:30 a.m. at the base of the Millennium Carillon in Moser Tower at Rotary Hill, 455 Aurora Ave.
Coyne said the event will include music and speakers in a socially distanced format with all attendees asked to wear masks and follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Attendees also are asked to wear red, white and blue and to bring an American flag to wave.
The purpose of the gathering, Coyne said, is to celebrate American independence and local safety. Speakers are set to include veterans, community leaders and elected officials.
"We thought it'd be nice for an assortment of reasons to kick off the Fourth of July with a nice, patriotic-themed event that recognizes our public safety officers in Naperville who have done such a great job for so long," Coyne said.
The event is not a pro-police rally, like the one June 27 in Elmhurst, at which DuPage County Board member Pete DiCianni was seen on video confronting counterprotesters.
But in the wake of protests about the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Coyne said, it's important to show local law enforcement professionals they are appreciated.
"You can't have a free society that's safe without good, strong law enforcement," he said. "I think our police officers in general and our community needs to know that we're not turning our back on our police, and police need to be respected."
The Fourth of July event is one of several Safe DuPage has hosted since forming early this year to promote public safety. Other town hall-style events, in person or online, have covered topics including crime, substance abuse, youth issues and court procedures. The events have featured elected officials and nonprofit leaders as speakers.
For details about the event, visit https://safedupage.org/events/.