Peoria enhances McCain Memorial, will be unveiled for Veterans Day

PEORIA – On Monday, November 11, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., the city of Peoria will be celebrating Veterans Day with a ceremony at the Peoria Veterans Memorial in Rio Vista Community Park.

The ceremony will include a special dedication to the recently expanded Senator John McCain Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza as well as highlight 68 new names that will be added to the Honor Wall.

 “We continue to enrich this area, and with the latest improvements now complete, I am pleased to stand alongside the Peoria community as we honor the legacy of America’s bravest patriots,” Peoria’s Mayor Cathy Carlat said.

The Peoria Veterans Memorial was originally built in 2007 during the construction of the Rio Vista Recreation Center and re-dedicated by Mayor Cathy Carlat and the Peoria city council in 2017.

The memorial features notable wartime events engraved on an 88-foot black granite wall, a waterside deck, comfortable seating, shade structures, military branch flag display and the Honor Wall.

The Honor Wall is a place where individuals and families can honor their loved ones who serve or have served in the military. Each honor space includes the veteran’s name, rank, branch and service years.

The Senator John McCain Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza includes a 1967 Bell UH-1H Huey helicopter flown in Vietnam from 1968 to 1971. The Huey is on loan from Light Horse Legacy, a Peoria-based non-profit encouraging the treatment and healing of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) suffered by U.S. combat veterans of all conflicts.

This year, funded in part by community donations, seating, more trees and architectural elements have been added to promote comfort and quiet reflection at the memorial.

The memorials are open daily 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Rio Vista Community Park, located at 8866 W. Thunderbird Road.

For visiting information, call the Rio Vista Recreation Center at 623-773-8600 or visit