CHICAGO - The Orland Park Veterans Commissions organizes Veterans Day events every year. Friday, the observance of the holiday included displaying Humvee vehicles from the late 80s and 90s and an ambulance from the 50s.
The display, in southwest suburban Orland Park, was provided by Veterans Garage, an organization that works to maintain historic military vehicles.
"I think it's important to pay our respects to our veterans and to all the people I served with and the people who served before me," said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.
During the ceremony Friday morning, 14 veterans were be honored whose names have recently been added to the Veterans' Memorial outside Village Hall.
"An event like this is great because folks get to see things they wouldn't normally see and it helps increase the level of appreciation for what our veterans go through and what it actually takes to keep them safe and out of harm's way," said Joe Werner of Veterans Garage.
Organizers said this year is special.
"This year is special because it marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and the French government played a big part in that," said veterans program assistant Tom Dubelbeis.
VIETNAM VETERANS HONORED ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF WAR'S END
Vietnam veterans honored on 50th anniversary of war's end
Veterans who served in the Vietnam War received special recognition in Chicago Friday.
Each branch of the service was recognized during a ceremony at the Union League Club
Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, originally from Illinois, was the keynote speaker. McCarthy's father is a Vietnam veteran.
Veterans were given pins honoring their service.
Sgt. James Smith was drafted when he was 20 year old. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
"I thought it was very well done and very much appreciate it," said Smith.
Widows of the fallen were also honored. Julianne Henington's husband survived Vietnam and went on to a full career. He passed away in 2016.
"I'm very proud of him and I think this was a beautiful service, especially the 50 year commemoration," said Henington.
There are over 700,000 veterans in Illinois, and most of them reside in Chicago.