CHICAGO — A ceremony was held at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Saturday to pay tribute to veterans and their families.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson spoke at the Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony.
“Don’t let it be lost on you that today is a gift. It’s a gift made possible by god and the sacrifices of our service men and women. Those who are willing to put their lives on the line with deep commitment to the notion that home is worth fighting for,’ Governor Pritzker said.
Those who spoke at the Veteran’s Day event said Chicago is home to one of the largest veteran communities in the country.
“Chicago is the honorable home, a diverse group of more than 65,000 local military service members,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said. “Throughout our history, Chicago residents have answered the call to serve.”
Senator Duckworth, who is a veteran herself, spoke on the struggles some service men and women face when they return home from service.
“In the last 12 months, 23% of active-duty troops have suffered through some form of food insecurity. That is a dishonor to all of us. There are veterans who must lay their head down to sleep on the very same streets they defended,” Duckworth said.
Duckworth said while progress is being made, there is still more work ahead.
“We must make it easier for our veterans to go back to school and it also means we need to hire and train our veterans,” Duckworth said. “It means putting more support into hunger prevention programs which more than a million veterans rely on to survive.”
At the end of the ceremony, Jewel-Osco announced that it would be making a $10,000 donation to help veteran’s causes.