A mother’s memorial . . .
They didn’t know it was there. And they didn’t know what it was; this enigma; this crumbling monument to the unknown. Let’s back up. While cutting back Cook County Forest Preserve overgrowth in the Dan Ryan Woods five years ago, what became a long- forgotten memorial was uncovered.
It took a long time to solve the mystery of its existence. The mystery was finally solved. It turned out to be an American Gold Star Mothers memorial; a symbol to honor those killed in World War I; a forgotten and crumbling testament in stone commemorating the ultimate sacrifice of their children in defense of our country.
“It took significant research to find out what it really was,” said Tim Noonan, of the Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers.
“We took the long forgotten monument to the attention of Cook County Commissioner John Daley, who became adamant about protecting it,” he added.
“Then former 11th Ward Alderman James Balcer, a former U. S. Marine who has dedicated his life to veterans causes, and Modie Lavin of Gold Star Mothers were added to the project,” Noonan said.
So . . . quietly and respectfully, and in advance of Veterans Day this weekend, the crumbling memorial was officially “decommissioned” in a special ceremony at its original site at 87th Street and Western Avenue Thursday morning.
“It will either be reconstructed, or a new one will be built,” Noonan said.
“I am pleased to help in the process of restoring this monument and finding a more fitting place for it in the Dan Ryan Woods,” Daley said. “Gold Star Families, whose loved ones have been lost in service to our country always deserve our attention and respect.”
A new site for the newly reconstructed memorial — which will be relocated across the street at a visitors center and children’s park in Beverly — will be rededicated next year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
St. Pat’s chat . . .
Attention and begorrah! It’s the luck of the Irish. † Translation: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade next year actually falls on a Saturday, which just so happens to fall on March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day!
† Irish tips: The grand marshal of the 2018 parade will be 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O’Connor — and the guest of honor will be Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, who created the Special Olympics in Chicago in 1967 and will represent the Chicago Special Olympics on its 50th anniversary.
Obama drama . . .
Psst! Sneed hears former President Barack Obama told buddies during his visit to Chicago this week he is trying to adjust to a lowerkey, slower- moving world — especially when he goes swimming and the water isn’t filled with Secret Service agents in boats or wearing scuba gear.
And, oh yeah, he and his wife can kid each other now about sharing closet space.
The Quinn bin . . .
Former Gov. Pat Quinn, who has tossed his hat in the ring for Illinois attorney general, announced Thursday he is donating his personal papers recording his public life to Northwestern University archives. A military devotee whose father served in the U. S. Navy, his donation will also include documents related to Illinoisans killed in action defending our country in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sneedlings . . .
Happy 31st wedding anniversary Friday to Skip and Phyllis Lanoff. . . . Today’s birthdays: Ellen Pompeo, 48; Tracy Morgan, 49; Diplo, 39; and an early birthday wish to Billy Siegel, ageless.
Former Gov. Pat Quinn, who has tossed his hat in the ring for Illinois attorney general, announced Thursday he is donating his personal papers recording his public life to Northwestern University archives. @ SNEEDLINGS
A Gold Star Mother’s memorial to honor those killed in World War I was discovered five years age while cutting back overgrowth in the Dan Ryan Woods. It was officially “decommissioned” in a special ceremony Thursday.