On Memorial Day, JourneyCare honored the men and women who proudly gave their lives in service to our country, and we hosted or participated in several events over the weekend to recognize and honor area veterans in senior residence communities. We enlisted the participation of area American Legions, VFWs, Lake County Marine Corps League #801, the Evanston Police Department and Bugles Across America, as well as veterans who serve as JourneyCare hospice volunteers, to bring a military presence to these ceremonies. We honored more than 200 veterans at the following senior communities: Silverado in Morton Grove, Winchester House in Libertyville, Belmont Village in Oak Park, the Fountains of Crystal Lake, and Presbyterian Homes in Evanston.
The ceremonies were individually designed for every community. Each veteran received a personalized certificate of honor and tribute pin, and was invited to share stories and comments. Sometimes very emotional – and occasionally heart wrenching – stories of bravery and sacrifice were disclosed.
JourneyCare is one of a few hospices in the Chicago area participating in the national We Honor Veterans initiative, a program by the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize and support veterans and their families in hospice care. The organization also offers educational programs to increase public awareness of the special needs of veterans and ways in which we as a society can better honor their service to our country.