Local vets don’t let snow put damper on Veterans Day events

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AURORA, Ill. — Local veterans didn’t let the weather put a damper on many celebrations across the area.

The City of Aurora canceled its annual Veterans Day parade due to the snow and cold, but they held a commemoration ceremony indoors.

Officials said they did not want veterans being exposed to the elements for a extended period of time.

Richard Miller served in the Navy during World War II.

"My ship was sunk by kamikaze planes, two of them, and I’m a survivor, Miller said. "150 sailors died, they were trapped below deck and others were killed in the explosions, I was in the water a couple of hours."

Gary Harris served in Afghanistan during Operating Enduring Freedom.

"When I first got to Afghanistan, the plane I was on it almost got hit by a mortar round and the base used to get attacked six times a day,” Harris said.

Chicago marked Veterans Day with a ceremony at Soldier Field at 11 a.m. It was held in front of the Doughboy statue, which is a tribute to World War I soldiers.

“Our veterans deserve our respect, our support, every single day, not just on Veterans Day not just on Memorial Day,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “But every single day for the sacrifices that you have made to keep us safe.”

While veterans appreciate being thanked for their service, others like Vietnam veteran Mario Garza wish appreciation extended beyond the holiday.

“Veterans are always in need, as long as we keep having wars you’re going to have a constant need to support those that come back, they are going to need support,” Garza said.

While it’s a day to celebrate, it’s important to know there are almost 650,000 veterans in Illinois. Almost eight percent are unemployed and seven percent live in poverty.

Many of the political leaders at area events Monday spoke of doing more to help them. Thank you to all veterans for your service.

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