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Veterans honored at Soldier Field

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot were among the crowd of 150 gathered to remember the sacrifices of the nation’s veterans.

The presentation of the colors by Chicago Public Schools JROTC during the Veteran’s Day ceremony at Soldier Field Monday.
The presentation of the colors by Chicago Public Schools JROTC during the Veteran’s Day ceremony at Soldier Field Monday.
Santiago Covarrubias/For the Sun

With falling snow dusting the bronze helmet and bayonet of a nearby World War I statue, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other dignitaries Monday remembered the sacrifices of the nation’s veterans.

Pritzker called Veterans Day a “very special day,” as about 150 guests — many of them veterans — huddled in the cold at Soldier Field, where huge heaters resembling jet engines roared and threatened to drown out the speakers.

“As the son and grandson of naval officers, I have a very personal commitment to uphold our sacred obligations to Illinois’ 650,000 veterans,” Pritzker said.

Lightfoot spoke about the importance of looking after veterans after they have returned from duty — helping them find jobs, providing medical care.

“We may honor our veterans today, but our true service to them is in what we do for them in our city and our country every single day,” Lightfoot said.

Former Ald. Jim Balcer, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, noticed the empty seats here and there — suggesting it was likely a result of the unseasonable cold. He said he was grateful for those who did make an appearance Monday.

“It’s a day all of America should remember — the sacrifices of the men and women who served our country, those who died, those that are serving now,” Balcer said.