BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. (WLS) -- Bloomingdale's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7539 honored area veterans with a monument Thursday.
"Today, we celebrate the millions of veterans who have ensured our freedom," said VFW Post 7539 Commander Cliff Hall.
The Northwest Suburban Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, which also includes nearby Roselle and Medinah, had an unveiling ceremony honoring the men and women who have served in the military as a part of their Veterans Day service.
"We're really happy to see it finally," said Kevin McDaniel, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Walter Modrzejewski, a 100-year-old World War II army veteran, and his family were also at the event.
"It's wonderful, most wonderful," said Modrzejewski. "I'm glad the people are paying attention to what the veterans have done."
The effort to erect the Marble Monument is three years in the making. It weighs roughly 5,000 pounds, is 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall and sits near a gazebo next to Bloomingdale's village hall and the town's library.
While the front of the monument pays tribute to the branches of the military, the back acknowledges the sacrifices of those who died serving in the armed forces.
"The stone is actually from the same quarry from the Vietnam veterans' memorial wall," said Joe Palmer, the VFW 7539 monument committee chair.
VFW Post 7539 raised nearly $30,000 through fundraisers and donations to pay for the monument. The village covered the cost of lighting and landscaping.
"We want to thank our veterans for everything that they mean to our community," said Bloomingdale Mayor Franco Coladipietro.
Members of the VFW said the memorial will grow. Eventually, there will be flags representing all branches of the military and a memorial to military service dogs.
Bloomingdale unveils monument on Veterans Day 2021