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Exploring Chicago: Honoring Our America Heroes Through Art and Memorials

7/4/2024

I love Chicago. No matter which direction you drive, you’ll find art and culture bursting from its seams. One thing I’ve always admired about Chicago is how it pays homage to the brave American soldiers who have continuously fought for our freedom. These tributes are subtly spread throughout the city, like street art on buildings, some more touching than others. Have you ever stopped to look at them? They serve as a somber reminder of the price America has paid for its freedom.

This isn’t a political statement to stir opinions about the state of our country. We can’t change history, but we can honor and acknowledge it as we march forward in the endless pursuit of truth, justice, and the American way. One of these poignant reminders is the Jefferson Park War Memorial. It doesn’t only commemorate World War II but also honors the broader history of wars involving America and the Jefferson Park community’s role in promoting democracy worldwide.

You should stop by, take a look, and pay your respects to these American freedom fighters. It’s truly remarkable what they did for us. Jefferson Park does an excellent job commemorating America’s war efforts, with a couple of hidden gems. One is the war memorial at 5411 W Higgins Ave, right along Milwaukee and Higgins, standing proud since 1945. Another is the World War I memorial, featuring remnants of a cannon plaque, right in the park.

During the 1930s, a cannon was installed on the triangular lawn and dedicated to the soldiers of the Jefferson Park District. The cannon was removed in the early 1940s for scrap metal during WWII. Today, only a small bronze plaque remains. Located near the field house entryway, this WWI memorial plaque was dedicated by the Altrui Club. Composed of bronze and helmet-shaped, it is mounted directly into the sidewalk in front of the field house. It’s uncertain whether it remains in its original location or if it was first installed near the cannon. (This plaque may have marked a second WWI memorial, such as a tree that may not have survived).

So, as you squirt mustard on your hot dog and sip a beer, remember for just one second today that all we have was bought with the ultimate price. Freedom isn’t free, and we should all remember that. God bless America.

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