Mayor Richard C. Irvin, a United States Army veteran, and Gold Star Families will pay respect to Aurora’s fallen heroes during a wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day.
“For those of us who served, all gave some, but sadly and honorably, some gave all,” said Mayor Irvin, who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. “We can never forget the sacrifice of our military heroes, especially those who left home and never returned.”
Some of Aurora’s Gold Star Family members of those killed in action during recent wars and conflicts will join Mayor Irvin at 12 p.m. on Monday, May 31, at the Phillips Park Sunken Garden, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, which is home to the Veterans Memorial Monument.
“My brother’s service to our country inspired me to serve as well,” said United State Marine Corps veteran Juan DeLaTorre whose brother, Lance Corporal Jesse DeLaTorre, was killed in action in 2007 while serving in Iraq. “As Gold Star Families we didn’t seek this title, but we wear it so proudly on behalf of our heroes who we love and miss so much.”
DeLaTorre was one of three East Aurora High School graduates killed in Iraq in consecutive years. Lance Corporal Hector Ramos was killed in 2005 and Lance Corporal Edwardo Lopez in 2006.
West Aurora High School graduate Christopher Patterson died in 2012 while serving in Afghanistan. The two most recent East Aurora High School graduates who paid the ultimate price were Lance Corporal Sara Medina, who died while on a mission in Nepal in 2015, and Specialist Miguel Villalon who was killed in action just last year in 2020 while on duty in Afghanistan.
“These young leaders and so many others before them, gave their lives abroad to save ours here at home,” said Mayor Irvin. “They are gone, but certainly not forgotten.”
Aurora Poet Laureate Karen Christensen will recite a special poem during the brief ceremony.
Limited flowers will be available for family, friends and guests to lay at the monument in remembrance.
Families seeking to submit additional information can email [email protected] or leave a voicemail at 630.417.0400.