We all know Mayor Daley’s son, Patrick, served a tour of duty with the Army in Afghanistan. But you probably didn’t know that, as a student at DePaul University in the 1960s, the mayor served in the Marine Reserves.
Daley was a member of Marine Wing Communications Squadron 48, which, as one member would recall, “was very large and composed almost entirely of guys who joined to avoid the draft. These guys were my age, but had college degrees and good jobs.”
This Saturday, the Armed Forces Council of Chicago will host “A Tribute to Mayor Daley” at Soldier Field -- not for his military service, but for his support of cadet and Junior ROTC programs in the Chicago Public Schools. Chicago has the largest JROTC program in the nation, both in total cadets and schools. All four branches of the service – Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines – operates a public school in Chicago. In addition, there are nine military high schools run by the Chicago School District, and 10,000 students enrolled in JROTC programs.
Here’s the program for Saturday’s ceremony:
A Tribute to Mayor Daley
Presented by the Armed Forces Council of Chicago
WHAT: A Ceremony to Honor Mayor Richard M. Daley for his contributions to, and support of the military, veteran and military cadet programs in Chicago Public Schools and Universities during his 22 years of service as Chicago’s Mayor. The organizing committee was led by co-chairs Alderman James A. Balcer and Brig. Gen. W.G. Vartan, US Air Force (retired).
WHERE: Soldier Field, Gate “O” in the vicinity of The Doughboy Statue on the Concourse.
WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 2011
9:00 am Pre-event Music, US Navy Band, Great Lakes
9:30 am Patriotic Ceremony (Speakers, Award Presentation and Honors ceremony)
10:45 am Ceremony Concludes
WHO: Scheduled Speakers Include:
James Frazier Gold Star Families, Illinois
John J. May Chief Executive Officer, USO Illinois
Samuel Miller Representing Chicago’s Veterans’ organizations
Allan “Al” Lynch Medal of Honor Recipient, US Army, Vietnam
Brig. Gen. Dolores M. Santillan Chicago Public School JROTC Cadet Corps