Over the years here at the Record, we’ve published numerous articles on Kendall County area veterans. I’ve been fortunate because I was able to interview several of those veterans and share their stories with our readers.
Ask me to name just a few of the veterans and I immediately think of the late Dick Young of Oswego, who joined the Marine Corps in the early 1940s and found himself fighting in what was one of the most brutal battles of World War II on the tiny island of Iwo Jima.
Unlike most of the men in his unit, Young managed to survive, but told me when he came home to Oswego after the war he slept on the floor under his bed for months.
I also remember interviewing the late Nick Moisa from Yorkville, who was among those who attempted to repel the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, from the deck of his sinking ship, the U.S.S Nevada.
Another longtime Oswego resident, Geoffrey Cooper, was a young sailor at Pearl Harbor that fateful day who managed to survive the attack and, later during the war, was shot down in his Navy recognizance plane.
While attending Veterans Day observances over the years, I always remember Young, Moisa, Cooper and all our veterans and the sacrifices they made to ensure our continued freedom.
This Saturday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, and once again we’ll all have the opportunity to remember and honor our veterans at observances and special events in and around Kendall County.
In Oswego on Saturday, the Oswego American Legion’s Post 675 Honor Guard will preside over a solemn ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Plaza on Main Street at Jefferson Street in the village’s downtown at 11 a.m. Meanwhile, at the same time in Montgomery, the Montgomery Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7452 will hold its ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Riverside Cemetery off River Street, just north of the village’s downtown.
In Plano, the Plano American Legion will host a Veterans Day dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Post is located at 510 E. Dearborn St. in Plano and is handicapped accessible. The guest speaker will be Petty Officer 1st Class Ken B. Ridgeway.
Cost is $15 for adults, $12 for those 60 and older, and $5 for those 8 and younger. All veterans and active military personnel eat for free. To make reservations, call 630-552-8313 or come to the Post.
In Yorkville, the Yorkville American Legion Auxiliary Unit 489 is teaming up with the Sons of the American Legion to host its 15th annual Veterans Homecoming Celebration on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Legion at 9045 Route 34.
The event will begin with a flag-raising ceremony at 7:30 a.m. and be followed by a buffet breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Everyone is invited.
Also in Yorkville on Sunday, several veterans will share their stories of service during the annual Veterans Appreciation Program that begins at 2 p.m. at the historic Chapel on the Green at 105 W. Center St.
Back in Oswego, the Little White School Museum’s annual “Remembering Our Veterans” exhibit is open to the public through Sunday at 5 p.m. The special exhibit features hundreds of photos, uniforms and other artifacts from local veterans dating back to the Civil War.
It’s a wonderful exhibit that helps all of us who weren’t there to get a better understanding of the sacrifices our veterans have made on our behalf.
• John Etheredge is the Editor of Record Newspapers.