TRIBUTE TO VETERANS CEREMONY SET FOR NOVEMBER 8, 2019 -- Each year, the Rockford Park District teams up with the City of Loves Park and the Harlem School District to host Tribute to Veterans, an event to commemorate those who have served as military and support personnel in the United States Armed Forces. This year’s Tribute to Veterans will be held Friday, November 8, 2019 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Loves Park City Hall, 100 Heart Blvd., Loves Park, IL. The invocation will be delivered by Chaplain Cory Whitford of Riverside Community Church, Machesney Park; Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury will give the welcome address, and the keynote speaker will be Charles A. Larson, a U.S. Army veteran who was stationed in the Republic of Vietnam from December, 1968 to January, 1970. Mr. Larson grew up on a farm north of Cherry Valley, Illinois, graduated from Auburn High School in 1963, and graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology. Following his service, Mr. Larson returned to Southern Illinois University, and graduated with a Master of Science degree in zoology in 1972. From 1977 until 2009, Charles taught high school biology classes at Belvidere High School, and also coached all levels of football at the school from 1977 through 2011. Mr. Larson is a member of the Belvidere Bucs Hall of Fame and Vietnam Veterans Honor Society. He chairs the Vietnam Veterans Honor Society's Chieu Hoi Program, where veterans share their Vietnam War experience with high school students. At the Field of Honor Veterans Memorial immediately following the ceremony, Harlem High School students will perform Taps and Echo, and there will be a 3-shot rifle volley by the Clifford E. Johnson VFW Post 9759. Music at the event will be provided by the Harlem High School Wind Ensemble and Choraleers. Financial support for this program is provided by the City of Loves Park, Harlem School District 122, Rock Valley Publishing, LLC, and Rockford Park District Foundation.