What is the LZ Peace Memorial?
Vietnam veterans, Joe Musso, Army; Nick Parnello, Army;
William "Skip" Coad, Marines. Photo: Ken Nelson
If you'd like to talk with one of the founders please call Nick Parnello at 815-968-1040.
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.
Four Vietnam veterans, Tony Bove, Paul Cassioppi, Tony Circelli and Nick Parnello spearheaded the building of this memorial which took over 20 years to complete. The Wall of Honor pays special tribute to those soldiers from Winnebago County who paid the ultimate price in Vietnam.
The names of over 75 veterans are etched into the wall, forever reminding us that their courage was our greatest triumph and their sacrifice was our greatest loss. Also, in this peaceful setting, a Huey helicopter that served in Vietnam rests above the Wall of Honor.
Every Memorial Day and Veterans Day at 11 a.m. members of the Vietnam Veteran’s Honor Society hold a memorial service honoring those who died in Vietnam and in all other American wars.
Featured speakers have been parents and family members of those killed in Vietnam: Dorothy Boyer, whose son has been missing since 1968; Mike Lenker, a former POW; Sheriff Dick Meyers; Paul Logli, former States Attorney; and many others.
For many years, Marine Vietnam veteran Gino Cuppini’s band played patriot music to set the stage featuring the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, and Taps. Last year Marine Vietnam veteran Don Allen played Taps. Believe it or not, Don can still fit into his uniform, proving the old saying, "Once a Marine, always a Marine."
In the past several years a Vietnam-veteran Huey helicopter has flown overhead and landed in a field of tall grass. When it happens again you’re welcome to climb aboard and touch this angel of mercy that came bringing food, ammunition, medical supplies, and hope. Then the Hueys lifted out the dead and wounded, and for many it would be the last time they ever saw an old friend.
William A. “Skip” Coad, a Marine who fought in Vietnam said, “There’s no other sound like it. To us it meant we might get outta’ here alive, as opposed to, we don’t have a fucking chance.”
Sure it's blunt language, but ask any veteran who's been there and they'll tell you the same thing. You walk the walk. You talk the talk.
Be here when flags are flown and songs are sung. Mothers talk of their sons and fathers beam with pride. Old friends meet and Hueys fly one more time. Patriotic music fills the air. Prayers are said and tears are shed. So bring your flag and your family and spend the day. There’s so much to see and do at Midway Village. There are benches for relaxing and remembering the sacrifices made. Come to the LZ Peace Memorial and find an old friend on the wall.
On a quiet night you might hear the sound of Hueys overhead or it could be angels’ wings fluttering in the wind. The Wall of Honor and the Huey are waiting for you to visit. They’re here rain or shine, day and night, still serving their country, at the LZ Peace Memorial, a place of healing.
In addition to the LZ Peace Memorial there will be a Veterans Wall where, for a tax-deductible donation, any veteran from Winnebago County who served honorably between 1959-1975, can have their name inscribed on this wall. We had hoped this new wall will be dedicated on Memorial Day 2012.
For more information please call one of the founders, Nick Parnello at 815-968-1040 and he will give you all the details.
Thank you very much for visiting our website and please visit LZ Peace Memorial at the Midway Village Museum at 6799 Guilford Rd., Rockford, Illinois 61107. It's on Guilford Rd. between N. Mulford and N. Perryville.
The founders of Vietnam Veterans Honor Society. L to R: Paul Cassioppi, Tony Circelli, Tony Bove, and Nick Parnello at the dedication of the LZ Peace Memorial on Memorial Day 2005.
Above, Marine LCpl. Don Allen, Vietnam veteran playing Taps at LZ Peace Memorial, Veterans Day 2013