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Oak Lawn Honors the Fallen

Elected officials, veterans and residents attend solemn ceremony on village green.

Elected officials and residents honored the memories of fallen armed forces in a solemn ceremony on the Oak Lawn Village Green on Monday, but it was the veterans themselves who were the true VIPs for the day.

More than a hundred residents took an hour out from their backyard barbecues to pay their respects to those who enabled them to enjoy a beautiful day under free blue skies.

After a miserable month of cold and rain, which Congressman Dan Lipinski compared Saturday and Sunday to tears for the fallen, Monday's sunny and warm weather felt like a rebirth of the American spirit.

Mayor Dave Heilmann recalled his father, Joseph, who served in the Coast Guard. This was the mayor’s first Memorial Day without his dad, who passed away last fall.

Oak Lawn Village Clerk Jane Quinlan read a poem.

Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Johnson-Phelps VFW Post and the American Legion Post 757 carried wreaths up to the names engraved on the marble wall of the veterans' memorial.

Young children ran through the legs of their grandpas wearing their service caps, not yet realizing that a precious American tradition was being handed to a new generation.

Dr. Linda Lorincz Shelton June 01, 2011 at 04:29 PM
I celebrate it privately by going to a cemetary or a memorial (early before others arive.) It is too painful. I have six friends and relatives who committed suicide after Vietnam. We really let the veterans down by not providing psychiatric care. There are too many I know who died in wars, whose parents, friends and relatives died in concentration camps, who were tortured, or who died in my arms or while I cared for them in the Charleston County VA hospital as a student; too many relatives were were disappeared by the Soviets fighting for freedom in eastern europe. I have to remember them alone in my own thoughts. I hope we don't ignore the psychological needs of our present returning veterans.
Dr. Linda Lorincz Shelton June 01, 2011 at 04:38 PM
I have to tell the story of one brave hero who died of complications of shistosomiasis which he contracted in Japan while a POW. This brave sould withstood withering fire as he pooled many comrades out of a ship the Japanese put him in during WWII. They sunk the ship and many died but he was able to save a few. Then there was my cousin who withstood terrible ambushes, etc in Vietnam only to die after coming home and becoming a little reckless in a glider kite accident. The Navy doctor friend who went into Bagdad with the 1st Marine expeditionary force 10 yrs ago and had his hearing damaged by an explosion. The back-up pilot of the Enola Gay who as he was dying and suffering dementia called me Colonel because my name badge said "COL of Charleston". My brother-in-law who blew his brains out when he came home from Vietnam and found his wife in bed with another man after being spit at at the airport. My husband who was in the Navy and more scared of his fellow armed seamen on watch who were high on drugs than of the enemy. Finally my uncle who was disappeared by the Soviets in 1956 in Budapest fighting for freedom in eastern europe, which he never saw. God reast their souls. I remember every day how their sacrifices gave me what I have. I will fight corruption in Chicago and Illinois in their memory. Their courage spurs me on.
Dr. Linda Lorincz Shelton June 01, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Sorry - emotion made me spell wrong. soul not sould; pulled not pooled; Col of Medicine, not Col of Charleston There are SOOO many we owe our lives to! Please remember them.

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