CHICAGO – November 30, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by local schoolchildren to light the state of Illinois’ annual Christmas tree and launch the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive. Joined by Gold Star families, Governor Quinn encouraged families throughout Illinois to honor our heroes by making holiday cards for servicemembers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany and in military hospitals across Illinois. Governor Quinn will personally deliver the cards during a visit to troops at LRMC later this year.
“This holiday season, we want to make sure our servicemembers who serve our country away from home receive a warm reminder of how much we love and support them,” Governor Quinn said. “While great distances may separate us, they will always be in our hearts and prayers. We can never thank them enough for their sacrifices.”
This year will mark the eighth time that Governor Quinn has visited Illinois troops and their families at LRMC. The center is the largest American hospital outside of the United States. For more information on how to participate in the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive, please visit OperationHomefront.org.
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Borggren and servicemembers from across the state also joined the governor at the tree lighting ceremony.
“Time away from loved ones is just one of the many sacrifices our servicemembers make to protect us,” Director Borggren said. “While we want to do everything we can to support them every day, we know it means so much for a servicemember to receive a holiday card and know how much they are appreciated. As we gather with our loved ones to celebrate the holiday season, we encourage the people of Illinois to keep our servicemembers in their thoughts and prayers.”
Also in attendance were members of the Gold Star Families, who hung ornaments in memory of their sons and daughters on the tree. The choir from LaSalle II Magnet School performed during the tree lighting ceremony and presented cards to Landstuhl.