Vietnam vets memorial honors those lost in battle

Community honors lives lost in Vietnam War during Memorial Day Service
Published: May. 31, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT|Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Not all heroes wear capes. In Winnebago County, the heroes are the veterans who served in different branches of the military.

Memorial Day is bittersweet for Angie White. She lost her son Nick, her hero, in the Vietnam War. While he may be gone. She wants to make sure he and his fellow fallen service members will never be forgotten.

“To those who died, we give honor and eternal rest. To those who returned, all of you, we give you gratitude, peace, and honor,” said White.

The LZ Peace Memorial sits on the grounds of Midway Village. It honors those in Winnebago County who didn’t return from Battle. 76 names are forever engraved on the wall because of the sacrifices they’ve made.

“A lot of healing takes place because of this memorial,” said Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society President Nick Parnello. “God bless the vets.”

The Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society created the memorial in 2005, marking 50 years since the start of the Vietnam War. Despite not taking place last year because of the pandemic, dozens of community members returned this Memorial Day.

“It was a wonderful day. good lord blessed us with wonderful weather and we had such a good crowd and the speakers...they touch your heart and make you want to cry,” said Parnello.

Laying above the memorial is the Huey Helicopter that served in Vietnam. Former 23 News General Manager Jim Grimes helped bring the helicopter used in the war to Rockford.

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