Photo by Kelly White
In the honor of the nation’s heroes, the city of Palos Hills Community Resource Department held a Veterans Day ceremony at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St., on Nov. 11. Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) also took part in the ceremony.
By Kelly White
Veterans Day is a way to honor men and women in uniform — past, present, and future — for their service and dedication. The federal holiday in the United States is observed annually on Nov. 11 for honoring military veterans .
In the honor of the nation’s heroes, the city of Palos Hills Community Resource Department held a Veterans Day ceremony at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103 rd St., on Monday night.
“Palos Hills is again proud to hold our Veterans Day event to honor all the men and woman who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces,” said Mayor Gerald Bennett. “On behalf of all our citizens in Palos Hills, this event gives us the opportunity to recognize and say thank you for your service to our country and to remind everyone what their sacrifice has meant in defending the freedoms that we cherish as a nation every day.”
“The people of Palos Hills have always supported our military men and women,” said Police Chief Paul Madigan.
Madigan is a 32-year veteran of the U.S. Army and served as a sergeant major all over the world on humanitarian missions. He has also been to war in Desert Storm.
“ Veterans Day is a way for our citizens to show support to our veterans, and also to reflect on the sacrifices they made for our nation,” Madigan said.
The annual event has been held at the city’s Veterans Memorial at Town Square Park since it was built back in 2001. However , due to chilly weather this year, it was held inside the Palos Hills Community Center.
Invited were local veterans, along with community residents to join in the recognition with Palos Hills City officials. The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors by John Whiteside Ceremonial Color Guard of Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, followed by a flag folding ceremony, where the 13 folds of the American Flag were described in detail.
The singing of the National Anthem was performed by Stagg High School Choir, with a welcome blessing given by Deacon Rich Werner, of Sacred Heart Church in Palos Hills. Boy Scout Troop 1373 and Cub Scout Pack 4728 members also said a few words thanking the veterans in attendance.
"It is always a privilege and an honor to perform for our local veterans and pay our respects to those who have served in our military, and I look forward to the ceremony each year," said Christopher Betz, choral director at Stagg High School.
“ Coming from a family with a lot of military background has always given me a strong connection to The Star-Spangled Banner, but nothing can compare to the overwhelming feeling of pride, gratitude, and togetherness felt when singing the national anthem for people that it means the world to,” said Ash Gordon, 16, of Palos Hills. “That feeling is profound and irreplaceable."
Keynote speakers at the event included Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd); state Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36th); and Jim Kruse, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and director of Hickory Hills' Kruse's Krew.
The Hickory Hills Kruse’s Krew mission is to support American fighting men and women in harm’s way. Kruse said is their honor and privilege to supply food, treats, toiletries and other means of support to U.S. troops.
“ I would like to thank the city of Palos Hills and Mayor Bennett for all that they have done over the many years for our veterans,” Lipinski said.
“ Veterans Day is a time when we as a community, can thank our nation's military who risked their lives for our safety and who may have never been recognized and thanked when they returned from service,” said Sandy DeMoor , resources supervisor of Palos Hills. “It's a time to recognize the bravery and patriotism of our veterans and give them the respect they deserve.”
DeMoor said the city takes pride in inspiring younger generations through the city’s Veterans Day event.
“It is important to future generations that we remember the efforts and sacrifices made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy,” DeMoor said.