South Side parade honors vets

November 11, 2008 4:22:04 PM PST
An annual parade honoring veterans stepped off on Chicago's South Side Tuesday morning. For several decades now, every year on Veterans Day, veterans have gathered at 35th and Martin Luther King Boulevard. If you drive by the intersection too quickly, you may miss it. It's called The Victory Monument. Finished in 1935 and dedicated to the 8th Infantry Division, a group of African-American soldiers attached to the French army during world War I.

The Great War was supposed to end all wars, but those who gathered Tuesday are certainly testament to the fact it did not.

ROTC students from local schools marched down King Drive Tuesday morning. Veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and even The Gulf War looked on.

ABC7 met one gentleman from the South Side who served with the Tuskegee Airmen and considers it a turning point in how others viewed African-American service to their country.

"They were unbelievable. It changed my whole life. I saw such a great organization, an organization that I had never witnessed or seen before," said Donald Seals, American Legion Post 87 Cmdr.

"We have got to let our young people know what has been done before them so they can develop this patriotic spirit," said Col. Eugene Scott, U.S. Army 1962-1990.

Veterans Day remembrances, of course, took place in Chicago and across the suburbs Tuesday.

Interesting to note: at the South Side parade and many others, it's oftentimes the veterans from wars gone by decades ago -- whether it's Vietnam or World War II -- that come out and show up and are recognized. One man said Tuesday, though, he would like to see more veterans from The Gulf War and from Iraq and Afghanistan come and get the thanks they deserve.


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