Tinley Park Honors Veterans
The Veterans Day ceremony at village hall wrapped a year of Tinley Park Veterans Commission events honoring Korean War veterans.
Brady Carlson was less than a year old when his grandfather died, but on Thursday morning, the 6-year-old Mokena boy proudly wore the late Donald Carlson's service dog tags from the Korean War.
"Now he's up in heaven, right?" Brady's father, also named Donald Carlson, said to the boy. "He's watching over us."
As he does every year, the younger Don Carlson, 47, brought his sons Brady and Cody, 8, to the Tinley Park Village Hall for the Veterans Day celebration honoring those who served and those who died in the U.S. armed forces.
The holiday is a descendant of Armistice Day, which celebrates the end of hostilities in World War I at 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 1918. Because of the time hostilities ceased (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), communities nationwide have ceremonies raising the flag at 11 a.m.
Or, since the speeches in Tinley Park ran short, a bit before 11.
"It is the 11th month. It is the 11th day and, for the purposes of these men who have been standing here, it is the 11th hour," said Tinley Park Veterans Commission Chairman Wiley Roberts, gesturing at the local veterans standing at the ready for the raising of the flag and three-gun salute.
Village Trustee David Seaman, who recently retired from a 39-year career with the Illinois Air National Guard, said low turnouts in the recent election show many Americans are not honoring the rights veterans helped secure.
"We need you as citizens of this country to be engaged and we still haven't figured that out," Seaman said.
Scores of veterans and family members filled the plaza on an unseasonably beautiful, warm day.
"It's important for all of us to remember those sacrifices made so we can enjoy these kinds of things on this great day," Mayor Ed Zabrocki said.