ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Veterans Memorial Hall in Rockford is nearly 120 years old, and its museum has been holding the war stories of Winnebago County veterans all that time.
Leonard Cassaro spends every November 11th at Veterans Memorial Hall, at 211 N. Main Street.
This year, he brought his grandson to a special tribute to those who served in the Vietnam War, hosted by the Rockford chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
“I’ve been coming the last few years for the veterans, for the program. It’s a really nice event,” he said.
The names of local veterans who died serving the country are written upon the walls within the Memorial Hall, as a way to keep their memories alive.
“It’s all about bringing the American people together, to commemorate Vietnam veterans, and celebrate their enduring legacy,” said Todd Burton, the Chief Financial Officer for the United States Vietnam War Commemoration for the Department of Defense.
Burton, a retired Army officer and Rockford native, gave the keynote address at this year’s Veterans Day event.
“This is a great event. This is actually everything the commemoration is about. The name of our commemoration is the United State of America Vietnam War Commemoration, and it’s looking at the 50th anniversary of the end of the war,” he said.
Cassaro said it is important to recognize our heroes and their sacrifice.
“When I see veterans, if they wear a hat or something, I’ll say ‘thank you for being a veteran.’ I think that sounds better, and I do that all the time,” he said.
Veterans Memorial Hall is open Tuesday through Friday and admission is free, although donations are welcome.