CHICAGO – In honor of Memorial Day, Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement, recognizing all servicemembers across our state and country:
“This Memorial Day I encourage everyone to pause and honor our nation’s servicemembers and those who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedom.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to many brave Illinois men and women who have answered the call to serve. It’s important that we take the time to reflect on their sacrifice, which is one we can never repay.
“As Abraham Lincoln believed, we all have a duty to take care of those who have borne the battle. As Americans, we also have a duty to support our countless military families.
“I join the people of our state and country in recognizing and remembering those who stepped forward in the face of danger to defend our democracy. May they stand forever in our hearts.”
After marching in the annual Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade, the Governor will bring Challenger – a 26-year-old Bald Eagle – to U.S. Cellular Field. The eagle will be set free to soar over the stadium during the singing of the National Anthem. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Governor Quinn also unveiled the “Portrait of a Soldier” memorial exhibit at the O’Hare Oasis and announced the summer exhibit schedule at the Tollway Oases in northern Illinois. The exhibit features a series of hand-drawn portraits of nearly all of the men and women who have died while serving our country since Sept. 11, 2001.