LZ Peace Memorial @ Midway Village Museum 6799 Guilford Rd. Rockford, Illinois
Thanks again from Nick Parnello, aka, Blackjack 6 to all those who came out August 7, 2022 for the LZ Purple Heart Memorial dedication. If you have any pictures please email them to FlyNickNow@gmail.com. Click here to go to SmugMug to see the 158 pictures and videos we took.
Sept. 24, 2022 Pictures from our LZ Smoker Brothers "Capt. Ken" Nelson, Tango. Ramrod and others took of Sgt. Flag's tour of the Peace Memorial and the new Purple Heart Memorial. What a great tribute to those wounded in combat and all who honorably served. We are so blessed to have all those who volunteer and take care of the LZ Peace Memorial. Every one of them. And a big HOORAH to all our Smoke Brothers.
The pictures of the unveiling of the Purple Heart Memorial will be online pretty soon. Thanks for your patience. Here's the link to all our pictures.
OPERATION LZ PURPLE. The LZ Smoke Brothers are proud to announce the birth of a new memorial at the LZ Peace Memorial and you're invited to attend. As always, Gold Star Mother Andie White will be with us. Please join with us at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, August 7, 2022. We're located at the northwest corner of the Midway Village campus, over by the Central Christian Church's parking lot. Here's a link to everything you ever wanted to know about the Purple Heart but were afraid to ask. Remember, that's Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 2:00 in the afternoon. Thank you for caring and for your support of all veterans.
Daniel "Seabee 1" Burd, a Vietnam veteran and Navy Seabee, died at home on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Nick Parnello gives everyone a nickname so Dan was appropriately named "Seabee 1". Seabee truly was Number 1 in everything he did. Whether he was visiting and giving communion to the sick, or helping out at St. Rita's Catholic Church, or doing his thing at the LZ Peace Memorial, Seabee put his heart and soul into everything he did.
Seabee was one of the original LZ Smoke Brothers. These are the folks who take care of the LZ Peace Memorial and prepare it for military ceremonies on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Agent Orange Ceremony and Veterans Day. To many of us, Seabee was the Smoke Brothers chief cook and bottle washer. He loved grilling brats and he made a pretty good cup of what he called Navy coffee.
Some of us were fortunate to have visited Dan the day before he passed away. We'd like to thank his wife, Lori and son, Todd "Senior Chief" for allowing us to be with Seabee one last time.
Funeral services will be at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, Illinois on, Wednesday, July 6, between 5 and 7 pm. Here's the link to Dan's obituary at Fitzgerald Funeral home.
Flag Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial. We have a video and slideshow of how we respectfully and reverently retire Old Glory on Flag Day 2022 at the LZ Peace Memorial. Mr. Marine explains why the flag is folded 13 times. Then he picks up one of 13 folded flags and hands it to Charlie 6, who along with Skipper unfolds the flag and they place it in the Ceremonial Burning device. They salute the flag as it is retired and the ashes are buried later in a solemn ceremony. Thank you for coming to help us honor Old Glory.
This Flag Day was one of the hottest ever. One of the Vietnam veterans said, "If you think this was hot, you should go back to Vietnam, where it was always stinking hot, with bullets and death in the air. The Memorial Day story & slideshow follows this story.
Below are two links to the pictures Capt. Ken took, and the beautiful cards we gave out.
Pictures of our Flag Retirement Ceremony held here at the LZ Peace Memorial on Flag Day 2022
PIctures of the handout cards we always hand out.
Thank you to all who came out to honor all America's fallen heroes. You helped us honor Col. Monty Piercefield, a veteran of three wars. I've never see so many medals on one person before. His son flew in from Texas to attend the ceremony with his dad. Our other honored guest was Capt. Jason Church, an Army Ranger, who at the age of 20, lost both of his legs below the knee from an IED explosion while serving our country in Afghanistan. Two very remarkable men. One in his 90's and one in his 30's. Thank you Col. Piercefield and Capt. Church for sharing with us ,and especially for your bravery and service to your country. God bless these true American heroes and all of our members of the military who have given us the freedoms we continue to enjoy. Below are links to over 200 pictures from this ceremony and the 4x6 photo Remembrance cards.
This is from Darrell and Linda Gilgan of Vietnam2Now. We regret to inform you of the passing of our Chaplain, Pastor Bob Theroux, this morning, March 21, 2022. He passed peacefully, supported by his loving family. He was a patient at St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford IL, being treated for congestive heart failure.
Bob's daughter Laura says the family will be making plans for a Memorial Service in late April or early May. We so appreciate her encouraging visits from his friends and fellow veterans during his final days, to say our goodbyes. It meant so much.
Until we meet again, Farewell Dear Friend. God's speed on your final journey as you join Sharon and many others in the arms of our Lord.
Take care everyone and support each other in our time of grief.
Viet2Now Facebook site.
This is from this website editor: Bob was a good man who believed in God and Country. We'll post more information as we get it. Rest In Peace.
Tomorrow is promised to no one. The good die young, no matter how old they are.
The president of the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society, Nick Parnello (Blackjack-6), is a finalist for the Rockford Register Star "Excalibur Award." The Excalibur Award was established by the Rockford Register Star in 1971 to honor an individual whose outstanding service and commitment has made the Rock River Valley a better place to live, work and raise families. The winner receives a crystal Steuben Eagle. Go out and buy a copy for yourself.
Right now you can go online and get a 6 month online only subscription to the Rockford Register Star for only $6.00. There's a link at the top of their web site. Click the link below for the home page of the newspaper.
December 15, 2021.
Thanks to all those who braved the weather and came out to honor Captain Robert "Bob" Dole for his bravery in World War II and for serving Kansas and his country as a Representative and Senator. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Thanks to Tango for the excellent pictues, as always.
VETERANS DAY 2021
Thanks to all who came out to honor our American veterans. It was a beautiful day with a little rain, a little sun and lots of good people. Click to see 211 pictures taken today. See if you can stream it to your TV. There are hundred of pictures from other ceremonies on the SmugMug site, too. Thanks to Scott Yates from the Rockford Register Star, WIFR-TV 23, and WTVO-TV 17 and a big shoutout to the kids and teachers from Spectrum School for their letters and the Lifesavers. You kids are great and keep learning and love your family, friends, teachers and America.
Here's a link to all the photographs Scott took. I hope you have access to view them. He knows how to take a photograph not just a picture. Our best wishes to Scott when he moves back home to Virginia and a new job with another newspaper. Thank you and the Rockford Register Star.
Robert Elof Carlson, age 98, was a B-17 pilot in World War II. He died on August 11, 2021. See all the clickable links at the end of the story.
Being the editor of this website, I'm posting this story about Bob. His close friends call him "S.O.B." meaning "Sweet Old Bob". I've known him since about 1966. He was quite a guy. Never bragged about anything except maybe his family. He was a good friend of my dad, Carl, through working together but to me their biggest connection was the War and both of them being members of The Greatest Generation: Those who served, fought, died, and lived through World War II.
His memorial service was held on Friday, August 20, 2021 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois. I want to thank all the members of the Loves Park VFW Honor Guard for their final 21-gun salute to Bob. Thank you to three Vietnam veterans I knew: Dan Jensen, John Tuttle, and Bugler Don Allen for blowing "Taps."
Here's an interesting part of his life. He was in the first graduating class of East High School in 1940. Bob enlisted in the Army Air Force shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, learned to fly B-17’s and became one of the youngest flight instructors to date. While stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Bob met our mom, Marguerite Heim, who worked in the communications office. He introduced himself as an Admiral in the Swedish Navy on special assignment. It was the beginning of a long and loving 73-year marriage and missed her every day since her passing in April of 2018.
Robert "Bob" Elof Carlson, a member of the Greatest Generation, soared above us when he passed away August 11, 2021. Bob was born in 1923 and joined the Army shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was a B-17 pilot and was one of the youngest B-17 bomber instructors at the time in World War 2.
They say once a pilot, always a pilot. In 2016 Bob hooked up with a traveling air show in Janesville, Wisconsin and was once again able to fly like an eagle.
Here's what Rockford's WIFR-TV channel 23 had to say about it.
DATELINE: July 21, 2016 JANESVILLE, Wis. (WIFR) – A one of a kind plane lands in Janesville and veterans are getting to look back on their battles from World War II. The 2016 Heavy Bomber Air Show is showing off the planes that flew and giving us a chance to see some pretty unique aircraft. Before the gates open on Friday, July 22, for the air show, veterans and their families had a chance to fly in planes they fought in back in WWII. The B-29, B-17, and C-45 aircraft were all on the runway at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport and for veterans like 93-year-old Bob Carlson, being able to fly once again in the planes he flew during WWII was a special experience.
Bob says, "I had the privilege of putting the wing tip down over my church and rode around three towns, pulled the props up and down and made a lot of noise. Nobody saw me,” said Carlson. The planes will be open to the public to view from Friday to Sunday.
Thanks to WIFR for this great human interest story. As the editor of this website this is my salute to Bob Carlson, S.O.B. "Sweet Old Bob"
If you have any comments or would like to add some pictures or whatever please contact me, Ken Nelson, aka "John Kennedy" at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for being our friend and may you Rest In Peace.
Dateline: Thursday, July 29, 2021
Above: Mayor Tom McNamara, Blackjack 6 (Nick Parnello), and LT Manny.
The LZ Smoke Brothers had the honor of giving Mayor Tom McNamara a tour of the LZ Peace Memorial, the grounds and many monuments. The memorial is located at the northwest corner of the Midway Village Campus, 6799 Guilford Road, between N. Mulford and Perryville. Blackjack 6 (Nick Parnello) and LT Manny showed the mayor around, two great tour guides.
Mayor Tom McNamara hadn’t been here before and he was heartened at what so many volunteers had done. His father, the former Mayor John McNamara had been an Army officer who served in the Vietnam War. Mayor Tom also had the pleasure of meeting a World War 2 Navy veteran who lives in Rockford.
We hope his visit will help in the quest of making more people aware of this great memorial. LZ Peace is a tribute to all our veterans and it's one of many places to visit in Rockford, Illinois. There are over a million Vietnam veterans in Illinois and eight surrounding states.
Come on over and visit the LZ Peace Memorial. You might see the name of an old friend on the wall. Or you might hear the flags overhead blowing in the wind, or it could be the fluttering of angels' wings, watching over us.
PS. The LZ Smoke Brothers are a bunch of mostly veterans who do what needs to be done at the LZ Peace Memorial. God bless all of our veterans.
Thank you Mr. Mayor for coming out and thanks for the donuts.
The Mayor's comments from his Facebook page.
"I was humbled and honored to join veterans at the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society’s LZ Peace Memorial this morning. The memorial is an incredible asset to the city of Rockford, honoring those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for us in the Vietnam War. It was inspiring to see the strong relationships the veterans have and the support they show to one another."
Below. On or about July 29, 2021 Mayor Tom McNamara, Nick and LT Manny after the mayor's tour.
On or about August 6, 2021 Skipper and LZ Smoke Brothers welcomed his World War Two friend and his family. They gave them the Grand Tour. Thanks, Skipper, for doing this. Click here to see more on SmugMug.
What is the LZ Peace Memorial?
Vietnam veterans names on the Wall
Gold Star Mothers
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society president Nick Parnello shows generous donation from our friends, Harley Owners Group, Rock River Chapter, Northern Ilinois.
Marines William A. "Skip" Coad and Ed Palumbo, 1965
To donate please send a check to
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society
P. O. Box 4304
Rockford, IL 61110
Or call Nick Parnello at 815-968-1040
We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and contributions are deductible to the extent of the law.
Vietnam Veterans Honor Society
The LZ Peace Memorial is a place of honor for those veterans who served our country, in war and in peace. This memorial stands as a testimony to those soldiers from Winnebago County who made the ultimate sacrifice at a time of great conflict. We’re located at Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, in Rockford, Illinois.
How It All
It started on a hill in Pleiku
Joe Falzone and Nick Parnello, two young soldiers from Rockford, met while in Plekiu, South Vietnam in 1969, and they vowed to meet for supper if and when they ever made it back home. They did and here's the rest of the story.
Winnebago county veterans
who gave their lives.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are over 20,000 veterans living in Winnebago county and thousands of them are Vietnam veterans.
Illinois has over 246,000 Vietnam Era veterans.
There are over 744,000 veterans of all wars in Illinois as of Sept. 23, 2013.