SOLDIER FIELD — Local pols spoke out in support of the military Friday at Soldier Field, imploring Chicagoans to make every day a veteran's day.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Dick Durbin, and Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth all spoke at the Veterans Day ceremony. They were joined by top military officials, Ald. Ed Burke (14th), and several veterans deployed into combat.
Durbin reminded the audience that 1,000 homeless veterans currently live in Chicago.
"The question we have to ask ourselves: 'if today is Veterans Day, will tomorrow be a veteran's day?" he said.
Duckworth, who was elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, said that Saturday will mark 12 years since she lost her legs in Iraq after a helicopter crash.
Duckworth said she'll work the rest of her life to aid fellow veterans since "I have a rest of my life."
"Our commitment to our family and our veterans must be there every day," Duckworth said.
Emanuel said that "America is not just a place, it's a set of ideals and values" veterans fought to preserve. He said he's worked with Duckworth and Durbin to provide more jobs, job-training, and shelter for local veterans.
"No veteran will call Lower Wacker Drive home," he said.
The ceremony ended with a keynote address from General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and a wreath-laying ceremony at Soldier Field's "Doughboy Statue."
Military officials also announced that Soldier Field and various Downtown sites will host the 2017 Warrior Games, a contest between wounded and ill veterans, next summer.
Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, was commissioned a year after the end of World War I and is dedicated to the men and women of the armed services.
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