Chicago Honors Its Veterans

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919

Friday, Nov 11, 2011  |  Updated 8:47 PM CDT
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An official ceremony at Soldier Field honored those who've dedicated their lives to defending the United States of America.

An official ceremony at Soldier Field honored those who've dedicated their lives to defending the United States of America.

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With a parade, an official ceremony and countless private remembrances, Chicago honored those who've dedicated their lives to defending their country.

The African American Veterans Day Parade stepped off at about 9:30 from East 43rd Street and South Martin Luther King Drive and went through the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle served as Grand Marshall for the parade that honors the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots who fought during World War II.

At midday, Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel put politics aside and paid tribute to the military during a ceremony at Soldier Field.

So many of the attendees had more than just service in common; they also had courage.

"I know I got shot up pretty good over there and I was lucky to come back," said veteran Johnny Washington.

At Union Station, dozens of volunteers gathered to assemble care packages for troops currently serving overseas. More than 500 packages filled with books, treats, DVDs and other necessities are heading to Afghanistan.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919.

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