ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. –
On a rainy Armed Forces Day, Walt Sterrenberg stands in silence honoring his father, World War II veteran William P. Sterrenberg, at the recently renovated park built to commemorate Arlington Heights fallen war veterans. Memorial Park is the only park in Arlington Heights solely devoted to the area’s veterans. Every year, the city’s Memorial Day Parade ends at Memorial Park, where the entire community gathers to remember its veterans.
Located near the city’s center, Memorial Park has been a vital part of the community since Civil War veteran, Dr. John Best, donated land for a Soldier’s Memorial, a tribute to those who served and sacrificed for the Union. In 1925, the park was renamed Memorial Park and rededicated to pay respect to all veterans who served throughout American history.
In 2006, a local veteran’s organization working with community leaders rebuilt and revitalized the park, adding U.S. Military Service Seals, a timeline of the conflicts, commemorative bricks honoring service members and an eye-catching Eternal Flame statue.
“This memorial is a real source of pride for our community,” said Sterrenberg, local resident, whose father served in WWII.
The park has a special section reserved for remembrance of fallen servicemen and women. The section is adorned with bricks personalized with the names, dates of service and respective conflicts each of the fallen served. The 58 young men and women who served in all of America’s conflicts, from the Civil War to Operation Enduring Freedom all have a dedicated brick that’ll be a physical display of their courage, honor and sacrifice made in service to the country. Currently, there are over 600 service members honored at Memorial Park