Veterans Day events taking place across Chicago area

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Chicago area holding Veterans Day events
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Veterans Day events are taking place all across the Chicago area Thursday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thursday is Veterans Day and there are events across our area in their honor.

8 a.m./9:45 a.m., Elk Grove High School (500 W Elk Grove Blvd)

Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will join some state lawmakers in attending Elk Grove High School's Veterans Day event. Joining Quinn will be State Rep. Michelle Mussman, State Sen. Laura Murphy, along with some Gold Star families who will be attending a special assembly at the high school. The morning starts with a welcome breakfast at 8 a.m. with an all school assembly to recognize veterans taking place in the gym at 9:45 a.m. An informal gathering for photographs and to present gifts for the veterans follows along with panel discussions led by the guests running until 12pm.

8:35 a.m., Streamwood HS (701 W. Schaumburg Rd in Streamwood)

Students and staff in the Elgin School District U-46 have been supporting and honoring local veterans and troops during a series of special ceremonies, concerts, displays, and collections all week including one today. Streamwood HS hosts a Veterans Day panel talk this morning. Students who took the armed services vocational aptitude battery test can attend in-person while others take place via zoom. The panel is made up of a navy recruiter and local veterans.

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9 a.m./9:30 a.m, Oak Forest (various)

Students from St. Damian School in Oak Forest will observe Veterans Day with a school-wide parade and prayer service at Oak Forest Veterans Memorial. Students will begin the day making posters in their classrooms and then will make the 10-minute walk to the memorial site with a police escort starting. The prayer service will include students holding their posters and flags, the school's choir singing and students reading prayers. Junior high social studies teacher Ryan Vandewiel served in the Illinois Army National Guard and will offer remarks about his military service. The students will be dismissed from classes at the school, 5300 155th St, in Oak Forest, at 9 a.m. and begin their parade to the Veterans Memorial, 15440 S Central Ave. in Oak Forest. The prayer service begins at 9:30 a.m. at the memorial site.


9 a.m., Bensenville (banquet hall at White Pines Golf Club, 500 W Jackson St)

The Bensenville park district, village of Bensenville, and Fenton High School will join to salute those who have served in the U.S. armed forces at a Veterans Day breakfast. State Senate President Don Harmon and State Rep. Kathleen Willis will join Bensenville village president Frank DeSimone in saluting Bensenville's armed forces veterans. Highlights of the breakfast include a presentation by Vietnam veteran Mario Rizzo, a purple heart and bronze star recipient, as well as three winners of the defending freedom essay contest from Fenton High School.

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10:30 a.m., St Charles Fire Station (112 N Riverside Ave.)

The annual St. Charles Veterans Day ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. in fire station 1, 112 N Riverside Ave. in St. Charles. The ceremony will begin with the national anthem, followed by a prayer, remarks, a closing prayer, gun salute, and taps performance. Mayor Lora Vitek says that they want to say 'thank you' to our veterans for their selfless service and says she's proud of the fact that nearly 10% of the city's workforce is veterans.

10:45 a.m., Hoffman Estates PD (411 W Higgins Rd)

The Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial Commission invites the community to join them today for the annual Veterans Day ceremony. Veterans Day is set aside to thank all those who served honorably in the military, both in wartime and peacetime. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial site located at the Hoffman Estates Police Department.

11 a.m., Doughboy Statue at Soldier Field

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and others will honor local and national veterans during this year's ceremony. Brigadier General Patricia Wallace, commanding general of the 91st Training Division of the U.S. Army Reserve, will deliver the keynote address. Members from each branch of the United States military and civic leaders will be represented. The ceremony will take place in front of "American doughboy" by Ernest Moore Viquesney. Doughboy was an informal term for a member of the United States Army or Marine Corps, especially used to refer to members of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. The ceremony will be held inside Gate O of Soldier Field by the statue. Additionally, the event will be livestreamed on DCASE Facebook page ABC7's Stacey Baca is the emcee for the event.

11 a.m., Aurora City hall (44 Downer Pl)

Out of an abundance of caution, the city of Aurora says that they were forced to cancel this year's Veterans Day parade due to forecasted rain and high winds. The ceremony will now be moved indoors to City Hall starting at 11 a.m. It'll also be livestreamed at The parade was supposed to be led by female veterans. The women veterans who were to serve as grand marshals of the parade will be introduced and honored during the ceremony, which will also includes remarks by Mayor Richard Irvin, a roll-call of military branches, highlights from local veterans organizations, and an outside 21-gun salute to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended World War I. Among those there will be Cecilia Lopez Leyva, the mother of fallen Marine Corporal Sara Medina, who will be there representing her daughter in the grand marshal's unit. An East Aurora High School grad, Medina was killed in 2015 while on duty in Nepal, India.

11 a.m., Leo High School (7901 S Sangamon in Chicago)

Leo alumni service veterans converge on Leo High School's front courtyard for the annual gathering with students to honor those lost and those who fought for America. More than 100 alums attend the event which will include students reading and singing before an outdoor lunch reception and formal welcome by president Dan McGrath, Principal Shaka Rawls, members of the Archdiocese and big shoulders. A memorial brick program will be unveiled with the names of hundreds of Leo graduates honored by family members living and alive. The money raised benefits students.

11 a.m., Edward Schock Centre (100 Symphony Way in Elgin)

The city of Elgin, in partnership with American Legion Post 57, will honor our nation's veterans during the annual Veterans Day ceremony. It'll begin at 11 a.m. in the Heritage Ballroom at the Edward Schock Centre. The ceremony will feature a welcome from Mayor David Kaptain and guest speaker Jerry Turnquist, as well as several musical selections from the Larkin High School band and representation from local veterans organizations.

11 a.m., Geneva (3rd St & State St)

The Fox River-Geneva American Legion Post 75 invites the community to participate in several of their veterans week events. Today, the American Legion Honor Guard will present a Veterans Day salute at 11 a.m. at 3rd St & State St. in Geneva. It will be followed by an open house at the post home, 22 s 2nd St in Geneva, from 3 -9 p.m. It will include live music, a cash bar, and raffle drawing. Tomorrow there will be a veterans art show featuring the work on several local artists with another program on Saturday to remember hospitalized war veterans.

11 a.m., Bloomingdale (101 Fairfield Way)

The veterans of foreign wars post serving Roselle, Bloomingdale and Medinah will unveil a monument in Bloomingdale honoring fallen veterans at a Veterans Day service today. The marble monument is 8 feet wide and 4 feet high, weighing roughly 5,000 pounds. It will be located near a gazebo on Fairfield Way and Bloomingdale Road, next to the library and village hall. The monument will have a bald eagle on the front of it, the emblems of the six branches of the armed forces and a message honoring the sacrifice of men and women who died serving in the military. The back of it will have a photo of a cemetery and a quote by Gen George Patton saying: "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank god that such men lived." The monument dedication will take place at 11 a.m. inside the Bloomingdale library rooms a/b lower level, 101 Fairfield way in Bloomingdale, due to expected rain.

11 a.m., Orland Park Village Center (14700 S Ravinia Ave.)

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village as they honor all who have served our country. The village of Orland Park will host their annual Veterans Day ceremony. Names of newly added honorees will be unveiled on the granite walls bordering the village's Veterans Memorial, Ara Pace - place of peace, located in the Village Center, 14700 s Ravinia Ave. in Orland Park, starting at 11 a.m. Orland Park's Veterans Memorial displays the engraved names of veterans, living and deceased, from across the country who served in all branches and in all wars. It is during the memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies that the newly added veterans' names are announced and the veterans are recognized. The ceremony will be held indoors at the Orland Park Civic Center, located at 14750 S. Ravinia Avenue in Orland Park.

12 p.m, Mission BBQ (1570 Butterfield in Downers Grove & 376 S RT 59 in Naperville)

Each year at Mission BBQ, they make Veterans Day a very special day. As a small gesture of appreciation, all veterans and active duty military are served a free sandwich. Then at noon, they will have a live version of the national anthem and recognize all veterans in attendance

1 p.m., Oswego Little White School Museum (72 Polk St.)

Oswego's Little White School Museum will open its annual "remembering our veterans" special exhibit today. This is the 15th year the exhibit to honor area veterans has been hosted by the museum. It was canceled last year due to the covid-19 pandemic. The exhibit will officially open to the public today and will continue through November 28. Public exhibit hours will be from 1-530 p.m. today. This year's exhibit will completely fill the historic building's main Roger Matile room and will include hundreds of artifacts including dozens of vintage uniforms, war souvenirs, photographs and documents selected from the museum's collections, each with a direct connection to Oswego area residents who served from the civil war through the current conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. This year's exhibit will again feature a special section devoted to military personnel with Oswego connections, from the Civil War through Vietnam, who were killed in action.

1p.m., University of Chicago

The university of chicago will host a veterans day recognition event. The program will be offered via a hybrid format and include updates on new partnerships among the university, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago City Colleges, and theJ Brown VA medical center. Several key local officials have confirmed their participation in the program, including Chief Judge Timothy Evans, Judge William Hooks who oversees the veterans treatment court, City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado, and the medical center director from Jesse Brown VA Rick Ament.

5 p.m./5:30 p.m, Pritzker Military Museum (104 S Michigan Ave in Chicago)

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library will host a Veteran's Day program which will be streamed live via Youtube from the museum this evening. During the program, retired Colonel Jennifer Pritzker will present the museum & library's founder's awards to Congressman Adam Kinzinger and to U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.