On Sunday, November 11, 2012, the city of Chicago held a commemoration ceremony at Soldier Field to honor the veterans who served in times of war and peace. The event was attended by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Brigadier General Rodney Boyd, and hundreds of veterans and their families.
The ceremony featured speeches, music, a wreath laying, and a flyover by military aircraft. Mayor Lightfoot thanked the veterans for their sacrifice and service, and noted that there are more than 60,000 veterans in Chicago. She also recognized her sister, who is an Army veteran.
Among the veterans who attended the ceremony were Bob Holbach, 98, who served in World War II; Andrew Brown, 84, who served in Vietnam; Michael Panahon, 41, who served in Iraq; and Army Sgt. Jared Simmons, who was in town to be part of a halftime show at the Bears game. They shared their stories and expressed their pride and gratitude for being able to serve their country.
The ceremony was part of a series of events in Chicago to mark Veterans Day, which included a parade on Saturday and a breakfast on Monday. The city also offered free admission to museums and other attractions for veterans and their families.
Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11 to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. It coincides with Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War I in 1918.
Sources: Chicago Sun-Times, Soldier Field, WGN-TV
In addition to the ceremony at Soldier Field, Chicago also hosted a variety of other events to celebrate Veterans Day in 2012. Some of these events included:
A 5K run and walk to benefit the Veterans Drop-In Center in Rockford, which provides free services and support to veterans and their families.
A parade in Richton Park, followed by a commemorative ceremony in the Metra Commuter Lot.
A reception at the Palos Heights Public Library, where veterans, family members and patrons could mingle and share their stories.
A free admission day at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, where visitors could explore exhibits and programs on military history and culture.
A service dogs for veterans event at the same museum, where attendees could learn how canine companions serve veterans and hear from organizations that provide them.
A free parking day at Brookfield Zoo, where veterans and active duty military personnel could enjoy the animals and attractions.
An observance at the Veterans Memorial Waterfall in Niles, organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3579.
An observance at the Community House in Winnetka, hosted by the New Trier VFW Post #4831.
An observance at Bulger Park in Melrose Park, attended by community members, schools, churches and war heroes.
A parade in Hillside, sponsored by the Broadview/Hillside American Legion Post #626.
These events were some of the ways that Chicagoans showed their appreciation and respect for the veterans who have served or are serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Sources: National Geographic, Chicago Parent, CBS Chicago aa16f39245