America Supports You: Chicago Gears Up for Sept. 10 Freedom Walk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2006 Chicago will remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the nation’s past and present veterans with a Freedom Walk on Sept. 10 at the north lawn of Soldier Field.
The event is one of more than 120 similar events planned this weekend in all 50 states to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attacks. Chicago felt a deep-seated need to hold a Freedom Walk, Eric Schuller, senior policy advisor to Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, said.
“Chicago’s kind of the heartland of the United States,” he said. “We want to show our support for those who tragically lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Also (we want) to show our respect and admiration for all those first responders that are there on a daily basis, and … our men and women in uniform that are out there every day around the world protecting our freedoms.”
Chicago feels a special solidarity with New York, Schuller said. The city and surrounding suburbs sent numerous first responders to assist those dealing with the tragedy in New York.
“If someone needs our help, we’re going to be there,” he said. “Just like … if we need something, we’re hoping someone comes to our aid, as well.”
Registration for the walk begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at the north end of Soldier Field. After the ceremony, participants will walk along the Lake Shore Trail, returning to Soldier Field for further activities.
The Chicago event and similar observances around the country parallel the Washington, D.C., Freedom Walk, scheduled for Sept. 10 and sponsored by the Defense Department’s America Supports You program. America Supports You spotlights ways the American public and the corporate sector support the nation’s men and women in uniform. The first America Supports You Freedom Walk was held Sept. 11, 2005, in Washington.
Chicago’s northwestern suburbs are planning a Freedom Walk at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9, beginning at the Metra train station in downtown Barrington. Information for people interested in organizing Freedom Walks in their communities is available at the America Supports You Freedom Walk Web site.