Naperville honors Vietnam-era Veterans

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It was a snowy Wednesday morning at Veterans Park, as Naperville veteran groups came together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the day U.S. Armed Forces officially exited Vietnam.

“Today’s event primarily focuses on our fallen Naperville veterans from the Vietnam War,” said Wayne Fischer, American Legion Department of Illinois Commander. “The speakers are fellow Vietnam veterans, so they understand what this thing is all about. They were in the county, they served, they lost comrades over there, and we all did.”

The crowd of about 100 at Veterans Park braved the elements to pay tribute. Fischer said the weather fit the occasion.

“The snow came just before we started,” said Fischer. “It’s like God was looking down on us, and he’s shedding a tear for the Vietnam fallen.”

Wreaths of appreciation for Vietnam-era veterans

Wreaths were placed on the Veterans Park memorial in tribute to those who lost their lives in Vietnam.

“The wreath is just a way to show respect and honor the fallen,” said Fischer. “And you’ll notice that both wreaths are in red, white and blue to honor our colors.”

Fischer’s history in Vietnam

Fischer served as a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He enjoys giving back to the community as a commander in the American Legion.

“I came back home and I finally came to the realization I want to do something to honor our veterans that served, especially those that were lost in Vietnam, ” said Fischer.

Fischer says he hopes to continue this tradition for years to come.

“It’s special,” said Fischer. “It isn’t a function of having huge numbers, it’s just the fact that those people that have a sincere interest are huge to pay their respects.”

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