At the dedication ceremony, Mayor Richard M. Daley said the site on the highway median where traffic enters and leaves the airport was selected to "remind everyone who enters or leaves O'Hare of the service and sacrifices of our military personnel."
The oval-shaped plaza is 60 feet long and 48 feet wide with the words "In Honor of Those Who Serve" inscribed on the exterior walls. They can be read by drivers.
Nine flags will fly at the plaza: American, POW, State of Illinois and City of Chicago flags, as well as the five branches of service and the USO.
Daley said during World War II, the site was home to Orchard Place-Douglas Field, where C-54 cargo planes were built for the war effort. In 1949, the airport was renamed in honor of naval aviator Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare, a Medal of Honor recipient from Chicago who died in World War II.
Chicago's other airport, Midway, is also named for a military effort- the 1949 Battle of Midway.