Aurora moves Veterans Day ceremony indoors; parade canceled
Update: Out of an abundance of caution and with guidance from emergency management professionals, Aurora's Veterans Day parade scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 11, has been canceled due to forecasted rain and high winds. The ceremony, which would follow the parade, has been moved indoors to Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place, and will begin at 11 a.m. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Priority seating will be given to veterans and their families. "While my fellow veterans and I served in all types of weather, we want to make sure veterans are thanked and honored in the safest manner possible here at home," said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin, an Army veteran. "We look forward to recognizing those who served our country and invite the community to watch the ceremony online."
The women veterans who were to serve as Grand Marshals of the parade will be introduced and honored during the ceremony, which will also includes remarks by Mayor Irvin, a roll-call of military branches, highlights from local veterans organizations, and an outside 21-gun salute to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended World War I.
On Veterans Day, Aurora will honor the heroes who bravely served our country and returned home to continue serving in many ways throughout the community.
With the theme "Serving Our Country and Our Community," the annual Aurora Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, from Benton Street and Broadway Avenue. It will conclude at the GAR Memorial Hall, 23 E. Downer Place, where veterans, parade participants, and guests will convene for a tribute ceremony.
The Veterans Day ceremony will feature remarks by Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin, a U.S. Army veteran, and other local veterans; a roll-call of military branches; and a military salute on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended World War I.
"It is always one of my greatest honors to recognize our veterans who sacrificed so much for our country and continued to serve when they returned home," said Mayor Irvin, who served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
"This year, as we honor all veterans for their service, we are also shining a spotlight on women veterans in our community."
In honor of the 35th anniversary of Public Law 610, the bill signed in 1986 to authorize the establishment of the Military Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C., leading this year's parade as grand marshals will be a unit of women veterans, including state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, city officials, public safety officers, and business owners.
Cecilia Lopez Leyva, the mother of fallen U.S. Marine Corporal Sara Medina, will represent her daughter in the Grand Marshal's unit. An East Aurora High School grad, Medina was killed in 2015 while on duty in Nepal.
Women veterans who would like to be included in the Grand Marshal unit can register at www.aurora-il.org/VeteransDay.
Parade units also will feature local veterans organizations, including the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council, the Roosevelt-American Legion Post 84, Walter E. Truemper American Legion Post 1944, AMVETS Post 103, the Fox Valley Marine Corps League, Toyota Veterans Association, Fox Knoll Veterans, Daughters of the American Revolution Aurora Chapter, and the City of Aurora Veterans-Employees.
In addition, the parade will include youth groups such as Marmion Academy Flannigan Rifles, the Mooseheart ROTC, the East Aurora NJROTC and Marching Band; public safety agencies such as the Aurora Police Department, the Aurora Fire Department, and the Kane County Sheriff's Department; and additional local organizations and clubs.