MAYWOOD – May 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today honored local veterans for their service and sacrifice at the 30th annual Hines Wheelchair Games at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Governor Quinn’s visit was part of the 60th Armed Forces Day, a day set aside to recognize the men and women fighting to preserve democracy.
“On this day, and every day, we proudly salute the brave men and women of the armed forces who served our county,” said Governor Quinn. “And during this sixtieth observance of Armed Forces Day, I am especially honored to present awards to our wounded heroes, who served on the frontlines and deserve our unwavering and grateful support.”
Governor Quinn joined more than 50 wheelchair veteran-athletes who participated in the day’s activities, which included wheelchair tennis, basketball, horseshoes, bowling and air rifles, among other events. During the surprise visit, Governor Quinn presented medals to winners of individual races.
“These veteran-athletes, wounded while serving their country, show us the strength of the human spirit and the will to succeed and serve,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant. “As a fellow veteran, I’m proud to be here on Armed Forces Day to honor the service of today’s participants and all veterans.”
On August 31, 1949, U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to honor Americans serving in five military branches: the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force.
President Harry S. Truman then proclaimed that Armed Forces Day would be observed every third Saturday in May. The first Armed Services Day was observed on May 20, 1950 “to praise the work of the military services at home and across the seas,” said President Truman.