New Veterans Plaza to be Dedicated to Rea

Village Clerk Patrick Rea, a Tinley Park native and a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve, will receive the honor at a Nov. 11 ceremony at the new plaza.

Although Veterans Plaza might be a new addition to Tinley Park, the site will be associated with someone who has been a representative of the village for years.

READ: Tinley Park Takes Another Step in 'Hometown Hero Walk'

Officials announced Monday that the Veterans Plaza will be dedicated to Tinley native and current Village Clerk Patrick Rea in a Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11, according to a village press release.

"Patrick E. Rea is an iconic representative of Tinley Park and its veterans," Mayor Ed Zabrocki stated in the release.

"In many ways, Patrick can be considered a modern renaissance man—a man for all seasons," Zabrocki added.

READ: Local Retired Brigadier General Prepares to Pledge

The mayor's characterization of Rea stems from his long history of service to the country and the village. Here's a brief look at the work Rea has done, as well as some of his accomplishments:

  • Put in 30 years of military service. Served in Vietnam after being commissioned from the University of Illinois ROTC in 1963 and climbing the ranks to assistant division commander, acting commander of the 85th Division and retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve.
  • Worked as vice president and corporate banker for Bank One Capital Markets, as well as executive director for the Illinois Development Finance.
  • Appointed regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Association's Midwest Region in 2003, serving through January 2009.
  • Elected in 1971 as a village trustee, a post he held for 37 years. Among his achievements was establishing Tinley Park's Veterans Commission in 1974. He became village clerk in 2009.

"This dedication is an appropriate and fitting honor to recognize his outstanding service to community and country," Trustee David Seaman said in the release. Seaman is the Tinley Park Village Board's liaison to the Veterans Commission.

READ: Village Invites Residents to Honor Veterans with Engraved Plaza Bricks

Along with the dedication ceremony for Veterans Plaza, the Nov. 11 event also will see the official grand opening of the remodeled 80th Avenue Metra train station, which is adjacent to the plaza.

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  • Ongoing Work at 80th Avenue Metra Station Will Interrupt Commuter Routines
  • End in Sight for Work at 80th Avenue Metra Station
  • Business Comings & Goings: Metra Station to Open in Tinley Park


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4th wright September 21, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I think it is arrogant of the Village, and of Rea himself, to have this plaza named after a serving politician. The Village is home to many Purple Heart recipients, any of whom are more deserving of this honor. If Rea had an ounce of humility, he would decline this honor and suggest it be named after someone who actually bled or died on a battlefield. There is a plaza named after Mayor Zabrocki, now one named after Pat Rea. There is a public safety building named after another former politician. But when they had the opportunity to name the new police station after a Tinley Park police officer who was shot in the head during an armed robbery, and eventually died, these same politicians declined to do so. A petition drive was necessary to get them to begrudgingly name a training room after him. I guess he didn't have the right amount of clout.
Ed September 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I think someone should check out Rea's background. A friend of mine said Rea was a general in the Illinois National Guard and never saw a minute of combat. He was in the same unit as Rea.
Dennis J. Belotti November 08, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Your point is well taken. Unfortunately career politicians have enormous egos that can only be satisfied by physical evidence of immortality... Regards, a combat veteran and Tinley Park resident


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