Bill Browne, Cook County Director of Veterans affairs, and Abundio Zaragoza, Superintendent of the Cook County Veterans Assistance Commission today joined Governor Pat Quinn, Erica Borggren, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and Illinois service members to celebrate “Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes Weekend”, which marks the one-year anniversary of the end of combat operations in Iraq. The two-day event honors the 2.4 million Veterans who have served in the military since September 11th, 2001 and raises awareness of programs designed to help them successfully transition to civilian life.
The two days of events began with the Reading of the Fallen Ceremony at 9:11 a.m. in the plaza outside the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, where volunteers read the names of the more than 6,600 servicemen and women who lost their lives protecting our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. This ceremony is dedicated to Gold Star families who have lost their sons or daughters in combat.
On Saturday, the “Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes” parade will honor the entire military community and will be followed by a Veterans Resources Reception at the Chicago Cultural Center.