Wally Degner Plaza Dedication
Wally Degner Plaza
The Palatine American Legion Post 690 Family will dedicate the newly constructed Wally Degner Plaza in the front of the American Legion building at Noon on Saturday, September 24 at 122 West Palatine Road in Palatine.
The Legion will be open to the public from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM and have food as well as refreshments available for purchase. The dedication ceremony will take place at Noon in the plaza, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, the dedication ceremony will be moved inside the Legion hall.
The American Legion has been selling pavers engraved with the names of veterans, family members and others that individuals wanted to honor. The pavers have been installed around the Legion’s WWII era M5 Anti-Tank Gun and flagpole to form the plaza.
Before Degner’s recent death, he and his wife Janet contributed funds for the complete restoration of the gun which was restored by Veterans Garage of Posen, IL. The flagpole, which accompanies the gun, is a memorial to Post 690 members who served in World War I.
“The American Legion Family thanks everyone who has contributed to this project by purchasing pavers and asks them to attend,” said Paul Clausell, American Legion Commander. “Special thanks go to CLASS Landscaping for their beautiful work constructing the plaza.”
Degner passed away in February 2022. A graduate of UW Madison, he was on the drumline of the Badger Band and marched at the Rose Bowl in 1960. He was a Past Commander of Post 690 and was a pillar of the organization for many years. A veteran of the US Marine Corps, Degner was a very active member of the Palatine community. He was a founding member of the Buehler YMCA and served a record 36 years as Palatine Park Board Commissioner. He is a recipient of the Palatine Outstanding Citizen Award and received highest honors from the Illinois Association of Park Districts. Wally Degner Park in Palatine was named for him when he retired in 2006.
The American Legion Family consists of the American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion (S.A.L.) and Legion Auxiliary. The American Legion and Legion Auxiliary began in 1919 while the S.A.L. was created in 1932 as patriotic veteran’s organizations devoted to mutual helpfulness. Together and separately these groups conduct projects throughout the year for the enjoyment of the community and to raise funds for Legion Charities. These organizations are committed to programs in our community, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.