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The Park Forest Veterans Commission hosts its annual Veterans Day program at Freedom Hall on Nov. 4
The Village of Park Forest prides itself on building a community for Veterans. Park Forest began in 1946 as a dream held by Carroll F. Sweet, Sr., to create a "G.I. Town" for returning veterans. Due to the lack of buildings during the Depression and World War II, the returning veterans and their young families faced a severe housing shortage.
With the rich history of Park Forest veterans, Village Manager Tom Mick said it is fitting for the Village to honor them. He said residents can come out and show their appreciation next Saturday.
"The significance in honoring veterans, I think, is pretty self-evident," Mick said. "Honoring our Veterans is taking the time to say 'thank you' to those men and women who have made the choice to serve our country. In part, each and every one of them has had a hand in ensuring that our country has its freedom."
Mick said this year, the event includes two guest speakers, veteran Terry Prince, who is the Director for the State of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Prince, who is also a Veteran, will speak about the somber issue of more resources being needed for suicide prevention amongst Veterans.
A local favorite musician Ava Logan, will perform patriotic songs with a five-piece band. Additionally, outside of Freedom Hall, the theme of this year's program is the emergency medical operations across the armed services, which will include a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) display.
Mick called on residents to come out and support this year's Veterans Day events. Additionally, he said if you see someone who served, say thank you.
"Say thank you to a veteran on Veterans Day or in the days leading up to (or after) Veterans Day," Mick said. "Beyond that, another way to show appreciation for a Veteran is to pick up their tab when you see a veteran buying coffee at the local coffee shop, getting lunch at a fast food establishment, or having a meal at a sit-down restaurant. Rest assured, the gesture will make that veteran feel tremendously proud and appreciated. It might even make you feel good, too, but that’s just an added bonus."
The Veterans Day program is scheduled on Nov. 4., at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, at 11 a.m.