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Chicago suburb creates banner tributes to 20 local veterans

Chicago suburb creates banner tributes to 20 local veterans
Chicago suburb creates banner tributes to 20 local veterans 02:04

MUNDELEIN, Ill. (CBS)—With Memorial Day approaching, northwest suburban Mundelein is gearing up for 
a year-round tribute to veterans.

The village started a street banner initiative to give families a sense of solace and allow the community to participate.

Jenny Tomlin always knew her father, Vietnam War veteran Robert K. Pflug, was looking over her since he died in 2018.

"You couldn't go anywhere without running into ten people he knew. Going to the carnival was always, walk 10 feet, here's three people he knew," said Tomlin. "Walk ten more feet, it was like three more people. It's like, 'Dad, we wanna go on the rides.'"

As she took a recent stroll down Seymour Avenue in Mundelein, his presence couldn't be more apparent.

"It's very cool that they did this, and it's kind of got a little bit more personal edge now because we've got my dad up there," Tomlin said.

The prestigious and public honor is part of a new initiative in the Village of Mundelein. The Hometown Heroes Veterans Banner program honors residents who served in the military with a living tribute along one of the village's busiest roadways in the downtown area.

Whether the veterans were still living or deceased, their legacy lives on through town, comforting their families.

"They went to places people don't want to go," Tomlin said. They don't get enough thanks for that."

Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz added, "For those that don't have that connection, it should be a reminder for all of us that our freedoms should not be taken for granted."

For Tim Wilson, a village trustee who sponsored a banner for his dad, a Korean War veteran, the banner project reflects the power of community.

"I see all these pictures," Wilson said. "I knew these people. My father knew these people, so I just felt like it was a great idea."

Twenty banners have been installed and will be on display through Veterans Day. By that time, a new group of hometown heroes will be honored.

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