Parkhurst helps dedicate Bourbonnais garden to Vietnam vet
Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) spoke this spring at the dedication of the Village of Bourbonnais’ new Freedom Garden, a park along the village’s Main Street dedicated to Vietnam veteran Wayne Michael Hayes, who was killed in action.
"This morning, I had the privilege of speaking at the dedication of the Freedom Garden, honoring the memory of First Lt. Wayne Michael Hayes,” Parkhurst wrote on her website. “He was the first Olivet [Nazarene University] alumnus to die in Vietnam.”
Hayes is possibly the only Olivet alumnus killed in Vietnam. He died on July 6, 1967, while serving as a tank commander during an attack on Con Thien, just south of the demilitarized zone. According to Hayes’ brother, Charles, he was a deeply patriotic man who volunteered for combat despite the fact that a previous hip injury likely would have kept him out of the conflict.
The Freedom Garden is 40 feet by 80 feet and was funded by more than $15,000 in donations from the community.
“The Freedom Garden is dedicated to him, but it will stand as a reminder of all the brave men and women from our community who possessed courage, pride, determination, and a dedication to duty and integrity -- all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one's self," Parkhurst wrote.
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