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The Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes Event is, above all, a community-building event in which Chicagoans get to come together and properly welcome home our Iraq War Veterans while showing continued support for our troops in Afghanistan. We want this to be an enjoyable and memorable celebration for Veterans as well as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges they are facing as they transition back into our communities.

The Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes Event
consists of three parts:


1. 
THE READING OF THE FALLEN CEREMONY
During this ceremony, the names of the fallen from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (approximately 6,525) will be read to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The reading will be dedicated to Gold Star Families and will begin at 9:11 am and continue until all the names have been read. 

DATE: Friday, December 14, 2012
START TIME: 9:11 am
LOCATION: Thompson Center Outdoor Plaza


2. CHICAGO WELCOMES HOME THE HEROES PARADE
After every war in modern U.S. history, we as a nation have honored our Veterans with parades, and now that the Iraq War has concluded, we want to recognize and honor this current group of Veterans in the same manner. Since the Iraq War ended in December, there has been a nation-wide movement of civilians organizing parades in cities like St. Louis, Richmond, and Minneapolis to welcome home and say thank you to Iraq Veterans, and we believe that Chicago should be the next city to hold such a parade. 

While this parade will be dedicated to welcoming home Veterans who served during Post-9/11 wars, we would like to invite our entire military community to participate and be honored.

To mark the one year anniversary of the end of the Iraq War, the parade will be held on Saturday, December 15th.

DATE: Saturday, December 15, 2012
TIME: 12:00 pm
LOCATION: Columbus Drive between Balbo and Monroe


3. THE VETERANS RESOURCE RECEPTION
To help bridge the gap between Veterans and the resources available to them, we will be hosting a Veterans Resource Reception immediately following the parade. The Reception will focus on four key areas: Health, Employment, Education, and Community. The objective of the Veterans Resource Reception is to promote and facilitate sustained support for Veterans and their families.

DATE: Saturday, December 15, 2012
TIME: Immediately Following the Parade
LOCATION: Grand Army of the Republic Hall and Rotunda
at the Chicago Cultural Center