Memorial Day in downtown Aurora on May 29
The City of Aurora will honor the service men and women who gave their lives for our country during the annual Memorial Day ceremony and parade on Monday, May 29, 2017.
The pre-parade ceremony – In Memory of Many, In Honor of All – will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the reviewing stand in front of the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.
The parade steps off at noon from River and Benton streets, heads east to Broadway Avenue, turns north to Downer Place and concludes at River Street. The best viewing area will be the in front of the Pierce Art and History Center.
WWII veterans Ray Moore, Bill Moore and William Wallbaum will serve as grand marshals.
Leading the parade as Grand Marshals will be World Ward II Veterans Bill Moore, Ray Moore and William Wallbaum.
Bill Moore earned a commission with the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of Senior Lieutenant in the British West Indies then came to Aurora, where he would later help to found public accounting firm Sikich.
Ray Moore served as a tail gunner on a B-17 “Flying Fortress,” for the Army Air Corp, and continues to be active in veteran’s organizations today, including the VFW, American Legion, and Burlington Veterans.
William Wallbaum, served as a member of the 1271 Combat Engineers Battalion in France, Germany and Austria before returning to Aurora to teach and coach at his alma mater, West Aurora High School.
The 2017 Memorial Day Parade will also feature local military groups, including the Roosevelt Aurora Post 84, Amvets Post 103, Waidley VFD #468, Fox Valley Marines, GAR Commission Post #20, and the 36th Illinois Infantry volunteer re-enactors.
Five marching bands – from East Aurora, West Aurora, and Metea Valley High Schools, and Granger and Hill Middle Schools — and other crowd favorites such as the Lamplighters Chorus, the Aurora Shriners Club, the East Aurora NJROTC, Aurora 88’s Roller Derby League, Simply Destinee Dance Team, the crowd-electrifying South Shore Drill Team and more will also step off through downtown Aurora.
WORLD WAR I EXHIBIT AT ART & HISTORY CENTER
In addition, “With the Colors from Aurora,” an exhibit on Aurora’s involvement in World War I opens on Memorial Day, with a reception from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the first floor gallery of the David L. Pierce Art & History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The exhibit includes original artifacts from the war and a life-sized replica of the trenches in which more than 3,600 Aurorans – about a tenth of the City’s entire population at the time – fought or died in European battlegrounds. The reception is free and includes refreshments from the canteen served by costumed recruits.
Free parking is available in downtown parking lots and the Stolp Avenue parking deck. The deck can be accessed on Stolp from either Downer Place or Benton Street prior to the start of the ceremony.