After serving in the Army in Vietnam, Andrew Brown worked as a school bus driver. He once asked schoolchildren on the bus what Veterans Day meant to them.
They gave him an innocent and honest answer: a day off school.
“I just laughed. I love children. In Vietnam, I saw so many babies killed. Brown, 84, said.
He recalled his experience at the Veterans Day ceremony at Soldier Field on Friday.
“Today is a day of celebration. But it’s hard to say. It’s hard to say,” said Brown, who lives in the South Side’s Roseland neighborhood.
Bob Holbach, 98, who lives near Irving and Pulaski on the northwest side, served in World War II.
“We are better known now as WWII veterans because there are very few left. It is very rewarding to be here. A little old corporal like me,” he said. “I wish her wife was here, but she couldn’t come. We’ve been married 74 years. She’s 95. God give us a good family.” I did.”
Army Sergeant Jared Simmons was in town to attend the ceremony at halftime on Sunday at the Bears’ game and took some time to reflect on his service.
“Thanks to all these soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, we are able to stand here today and enjoy all that we do,” he said.
“And I hope not, but it’s a reminder that someday I may have to make that sacrifice too. And a reminder that there are many who have done it.” I would love to do it,” said Simmons, who is from Redding, Pennsylvania.
For Michael Panajon, who served in the Army and served in Iraq, the day is filled with pride.
“I am proud of what I was able to do when I was in service. Serving in the U.S. Army was probably the best decision of my life,” said the 41-year-old who lives in Pilsen and works in the hospitality industry. said Panahon.
It doesn’t take him for granted to say “thank you” for your service.
“I certainly appreciate it,” he said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot presided over the event and said Chicago has more than 60,000 veterans.
“They all answered the same incredible call to service. I will never forget what you gave me,” said Lightfoot, noting that her sister is an Army veteran.
brig. Illinois Army National Guard General Rodney Boyd, who grew up on the South Side, nodded to the White Sox before imploring people to show their appreciation on Veterans Day.
“It’s time to say thank you to strangers,” he said. “Fight for our freedom. It’s important. It’s something we should remember.”
https://chicago.suntimes.com/2022/11/11/23453724/veterans-day-chicago-soldier-field Veterans Day Ceremony at Soldier Field Offers Resonance: Thank You for Your Service