Parents keep fallen Marine’s wish: open a bar
Debi Daniels of Elmwood Park shows a picture of her son, Lance Cpl. Nickolas Daniels, who died in combat last year. A vigil is planned for Daniels and other fallen soldiers at 6 p.m. May 20 at Elmwood Park High School. Page 9 | David Pollard~Sun-Times M
WHAT: Fallen Soldiers Vigil
WHEN: 6 p.m. May 20
WHERE: Elmwood Park High School, 8201 W.
Updated: June 18, 2012 8:22AM
Nickolas Daniels told his parents that if he didn’t make it back, he wanted them to open a bar.
It was Daniels’ dream when he retired from serving his country as a U.S. Marine.
Daniels, a lance corporal who grew up in Elmwood Park, died in combat Nov. 5 2011, in Afghanistan. He was 25.
Now, his parents, Debi and Greg, are honoring his request.
They bought the bar formerly known as Eileen’s at 2104 N. Harlem Ave, and will rename it On the Rocks.
Inside, a picture of their son in uniform sits on the top shelf behind the bar.
A glass of Jagermeister, their son’s favorite drink, is to the left of photo, a rosary is draped on the side of it, and a Marlboro Light cigarette, his favorite smoke, rests at the base.
Debi Daniels said along with running the bar, she’s been busy doing things in honor of her son’s name.
“Everything we’re doing is to keep remembering him and keep him out there,” she said.
On May 20, a candlelight vigil will be held in his honor as well as all who have died in combat, especially the recent conflicts in the Middle East.
She said it started out small, but it didn’t stay that way.
“It was just going to be our family, and then our family and friends, and then it started growing and growing,” she said.
The event’s location is at Elmwood Park High School.
The traveling Illinois Veterans Wall will be brought to the school. The Patriot Guard Riders will attend as well as local officials. A bugler will play taps.
The vigil is just one way to keep her son’s memory alive, she said.
“They (fallen soldiers) don’t want to be forgotten,” said Debi Daniels.
She invites parents of active-duty military to attend too.
“The mothers who have their children in boot camp or in Afghanistan, they are waiting for that phone call,” she said. She wants them to know they aren’t alone.
“We want to let people know that it (loss) does happen,” Greg Daniels said.