Thursday, September 28, 2023

Connect with us:


Lynwood debuts veterans memorial on Memorial Day

By Josh Bootsma

LYNWOOD, Ill. (May 30, 2022) – Dozens of local residents spent their Memorial Day morning at Liberty Memorial Park in Lynwood for the dedication and ribbon-cutting of a new veterans memorial.

In a windy ceremony that started at 10 a.m., Lynwood officials welcomed local residents, veterans, elected officials, and others to a gazebo overlooking the lake at Liberty Memorial Park on Glenwood Dyer Road.

Speakers at the event were Lynwood Mayor Jada Curry, Lansing veteran Valorie Harris, and Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam. Some other elected officials spoke briefly as well, including State Representative Marcus Evans Jr., Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, and MWRD Commissioner Chakena Perry.

New memorial on Memorial Day

The new memorial features an inscribed stone, as well as six flag poles and four benches, which overlook the lake at Liberty Memorial Park.

Fred Miller III is a 27-year Lynwood resident, and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. After the dedication ceremony, he told The Lansing Journal, “Since I was a Vietnam-era vet, some recognition is better than none, because when we came back, we didn’t get a whole lot.”

Miller said he would think about his brother — a former Korean war veteran — and the friends he lost in Vietnam when coming to the new Lynwood Veterans Memorial.

The memorial was made possible through donations from both the Center for Islamic Teaching in Harvey — founded by Firoz Vohra — and Lynwood Mobil — owned by Vohra.

“It’s a part of our faith. As Muslims, as part of the Islamic faith, it says in the Quran that you have to appreciate and show gratitude to the people who have sacrificed. It comes from the faith,” Vohra told The Lansing Journal.

Memorial dedication in photos

The order of the event is told below in photos:

Local residents and veterans greeted each other and set up seats near the gazebo at Liberty Memorial Park on Memorial Day. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Dozens of attendees gathered inside the gazebo as well, and stood for the national anthem, which was played by the Fifty One Lincoln Band. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
These two veterans saluted during the national anthem. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
The crowd stood silently as Pastor Philip France led an opening prayer. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Lynwood Mayor Jada Curry addresses the crowd while Lynwood Trustee Randall Blakey looks on. She remembered marking the spot at Liberty Memorial Park for a veterans memorial last year on Veterans Day. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Many veterans were present at the ceremony. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Sgt. John Dempsey of the Chicago Police Emerald Society played both Amazing Grace and taps during the ceremony. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Lansing resident and retired Air Force veteran Valorie Harris shared information about the organization she’s a part of: National Women Veterans United. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Many veterans were in the crowd when asked to stand up and state their name and branch of service. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
The Fifty One Lincoln Band played an armed forced medley on bass and electric guitar. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam (left) and Lynwood Mayor Jada Curry listen to the armed forced medley on a windy Memorial Day morning. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam was the keynote speaker at the memorial dedication. Eidam served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War era. “It’s beautiful,” she said of the new veterans memorial in Lynwood. She characterized Memorial Day as a “solemn contemplation of the cost of freedom.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Firoz Vohra, founder of of the Center for Islamic Teachings based in Harvey, and owner of the Lynwood Mobil gas station, through his organizations donated $10,000 towards the veterans memorial in Lynwood. A program for the event said, “The Village of Lynwood and our veterans appreciate the generous financial contribution from the Center for Islamic Teachings and Lynwood Mobil. This project would not have happened without your support.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Mayor Curry (in red) read the inscription on the stone memorial while surrounded by local officials and veterans. Curry told veterans the memorial was designed to be a “place of solace and refuge for each of you.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Mayor Curry and Firoz Vohra prepare to cut the ribbon attached to the flagpoles at the new memorial. When asked by The Lansing Journal why his organizations donated toward the memorial, Vohra said, “It’s a part of our faith. As Muslims, as part of the Islamic faith, it says in the Quran that you have to appreciate and show gratitude to the people who have sacrificed. It comes from the faith.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Event attendees gather to examine the new memorial at Liberty Memorial Park as the bagpipes play. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
This young resident touched the new memorial as closing speeches were given. One line on the stone memorial says, “If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
From left: Lynwood Trustees Kirk Marshall and Cynthia Eaves, Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam, Lynwood Mayor Jada Curry, State Representative Marcus Evans Jr., Center for Islamic Teachings founder Firoz Vohra, MWRD Commissioner Chakena Perry, Lynwood Village Clerk Karen Wingfield-Bond, and Lynwood Trustee Randall Blakey. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Liberty Memorial Park is located at 3107 Glenwood Dyer Road in Lynwood.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.