Orland Park native James D. Hannigan said he felt nervous addressing veterans in town on Nov. 11. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park native James D. Hannigan said he felt nervous addressing veterans in town on Nov. 11. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park honors veterans and their families

By Jeff Vorva

James D. Hannigan felt a little bit funny addressing the veterans in Orland Park.

Hannigan, a 1998 Sandburg graduate who is a lieutenant colonel in the Army in the St. Louis area, scanned the crowd of more than 200 at the Orland Park Civic Center on Veterans Day and said he wasn’t sure what wisdom he could impart to them.

“There is a lot of service in this room,” Hannigan said. “Who am I to address you? What does a young man like me have to offer this crowd?

“To be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable speaking. In this room, I’m a little bit nervous. I know the Orland Park service. Orland Park has served and has honored service for as long as I could remember growing up here. Your service is a thread from my childhood and the childhoods of your children, perhaps grandchildren, nieces and nephews.”

He said he remembered doing projects on the military at Prairie Elementary School and hearing veterans speak at Liberty Elementary School, Jerling Jr. High and Sandburg.

Hannigan added that when he was a freshman on the Eagles swim team, one of his senior teammates was ready to go into the military.

“This community serves,” he said. “And not just for service. We prepare for war, and we pray for peace in Orland Park. Orland Park know many sacrifices that peace and freedom require. Orland Park serves and that’s why I was so nervous to come here.”

In 2021, Orland Park has had several military events including nights out in the summer with music. Some veterans were honored in front of large crowds during Taste of Orland.

PEKAU VETERANS DAY scaled

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau gave thanks to veterans’ families during a Veterans Day ceremony in the Civic Center.

Mayor Keith Pekau, who was a captain in the Air Force, was another speaker during the Veterans Day event.

While those who served get plenty of accolades, Pekau pointed out the role of the support system for the veterans.

“Family members often bear the brunt of veterans’ service,” the mayor said. “I know this firsthand. There were three deployments and countless other assignments. There were missed birthdays. Missed holidays. Missed special events. And missing three months of two pregnancies, which I think I still pay for.

“If it wasn’t for you, all of the veterans today couldn’t have served without the support of our loved ones.”

Jim Kruse, of Hickory Hills, also spoke and gave historic perspectives and said, “The American veteran is a symbol for what America stands for.

“We all raised our right hands and swore we would defense our country and our constitution from all of our enemies – foreign and domestic, even if it meant giving up our lives.”

Kruse said that 2 percent of the people in this country have served.

“That’s the best damn 2 percent in the country,” he said.

Six more veterans’ names were engraved on the Ara Pace Place of Peace Memorial.

From the Army, Eugene J. Smith (discharged 1963), Eugene L. Moskal (1941-1945), Martin D. Pavlic (1954-1956), and Robert S. Bernas (1969-1971) made the wall as well as the Navy’s William Stewart Van Berschot (1966-1968) and the United States Air Force Reserves’ Ralph Richard Budzinski (1961-1965).

Orland Park Veterans Commission Chairman Dale Carver gave the welcome address and Diane Starr sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

 

COLORS scaled

Veterans groups from the area presented the colors at the Veterans Day event.

Local News

The Conrady Junior High School seventh-grade choir sings holiday songs before the beginning of the Hills Chamber's Christmas Party and "State of the Cities" addresses Tuesday night at the Hickory Hills Community Center. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Palos Hills, Hickory Hills mayors optimistic about business growth

By Joe Boyle The mayors of Palos Hills and Hickory Hills said the emergence of new businesses and programs are an indication that both communities are looking forward to better days. Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett and Hickory Hills Mayor Mike Howley both presented their “State of the Cities” addresses Tuesday night at the Hickory…

IllinoisTollwayLogo_HiRes

Tri-State Tollway lane closures Friday night over I-55

Overnight lane closures are scheduled this weekend for concrete work on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (I-294) over I-55. Traffic delays are expected. Beginning at 8 p.m. on tonight, December 9, and continuing until noon on Saturday, December 10, traffic on northbound I-294 between 75th Street and Joliet Road, traffic will be reduced to a single lane.…

Bourbons Smokehouse will hold a grand opening on Friday at Sheep's Food District in Orland Hills. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Grand opening today for Bourbons Smokehouse at Sheep’s Food District

By Bob Bong Sheep’s Food District in Orland Park may have something for everyone under one roof. Sheep’s is affiliated with the White Sheep, a breakfast and lunch restaurant at 14435 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park. But while The White Sheep is open only for breakfast and lunch and closes daily at 3 p.m.,…

reporter oak lawn police logo

Man charged in fatal Oak Lawn shooting outside hospital

By Bob Bong Oak Lawn police say a fatal shooting outside of Advocate Christ Medical Center early Saturday morning stemmed from an earlier double homicide near 87th and Green streets. Marques Rose, 36, of the 8100 block of South Winchester in Chicago, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder for the shooting death…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau sounds off Monday night about what he liked and didn't like about changes to the SAFE-T Act. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau has mixed reactions to SAFE-T Act changes

By Jeff Vorva In response to criticism during the election campaign, the Illinois General Assembly has made some changes to the SAFE-T Act. Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, one of the act’s harshest critics, is not completely satisfied. Pekau has voiced criticism of the law, especially its no bail provision that kicks in on January…

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz encourages the city to build a wall honoring volunteers during Tuesday night's council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights council talks wall of tributes

By Jeff Vorva Tributes were the talk on Tuesday. The Palos Heights City Council meeting featured a discussion on building a wall to honor volunteers in town and kicked ideas around to honor former aldermen Dolores Kramarski, who died in November, and Alan Fulkerson, who died in 2020. The council unanimously voted to foot a…

John Mahoney is not seeking re-election as the mayor of Palos Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Mahoney not running for Palos Park mayor; Milovich-Walters throws hat in the ring

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park will have a new mayor in 2023. John Mahoney will end his 16-year tenure as mayor next year after he announced this week that he will not run for a fifth term. “Every time you run for office you think about it,” the 60-year-old Mahoney said about leaving the post.…

CookCountySheriffShield

2 Dead, 4 hurt In LaGrange Road crash

By Bob Bong Two people were killed and four more injured in a traffic crash Sunday afternoon on LaGrange Road in unincorporated Palos Park. Cook County Sheriff’s Police said a 56-year-old man died at the scene and a 54-year-old woman died of her injuries at an area hospital. Police said they responded shortly after 4…

marist logo

Boys Basketball: Marist stays unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

Neighbors

Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
Pension debt grows to $139.7 billion

Pension debt grows to $139.7 billion

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grew by $9.8 billion, or 7.5 percent, in the fiscal year that ended June 30, due in large part to market losses in a volatile economy. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported Thursday that the total unfunded liability in the…

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ high court makes history

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ high court makes history

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] While a crocheted serpent took its place on the Capitol rotunda this week and the governor signed a pair of major bills passed in the recent veto session, history was happening on the Illinois Supreme Court. For the first time in its history, the state’s high court is…

Pritzker signs changes to SAFE-T Act’s cash bail provisions

Pritzker signs changes to SAFE-T Act’s cash bail provisions

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed a follow-up measure to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform, the third such amendment since the law’s initial passage in January 2021. The changes approved by lawmakers last week in the fall veto session center on the law’s provisions which…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Satanic Temple of Illinois debuted a new display in the Illinois Capitol rotunda Tuesday, taking its place next to the annual Christmas and Hanukkah displays. For Christmas, that means the Springfield Nativity Committee has once again placed a manger scene featuring Mary, Joseph and Jesus.…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers last week passed significant legislation dealing with electric vehicle manufacturing incentives and the availability of hygiene products for prisoners in the state’s correctional system. But some weightier issues, including a possible assault weapons ban, will wait until a lame duck session scheduled for early…

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can consider when determining…

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On the final day of their fall veto session, Illinois lawmakers on Thursday advanced a pair of bills that would infuse $1.8 billion into the state’s unemployment trust fund, which was depleted during the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan agreement came…

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can…

Regional CC Asphalt House Ad
CRR NH Niego Real Estate House Ad