Veterans rally to gain public access to the memorial site that is now housing shelter for illegal immigrants

CHICAGO, IL - A former Marine Corps building in the North Park neighborhood has been turned into a housing center for illegal immigrants, no longer allowing for public access to a memorial, even to those who are veterans.

According to ABC 7, on Friday, May 17th, a group of veterans gathered outside of the memorial site to peacefully request that the memorial again be accessible to those who want to pay tribute and recognize the more than dozen servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice defending this country.

The veterans came from all over, including from other states, and gathered to honor the 16 servicemen. U.S. Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Tim Jensen said, "We do not have access to paying respects and homage to the men that gave their lives in the deployments in 2004 and 2008."

For years after the Marine Corps left the building, those wishing to pay their respects at the three-pillared memorial still were able to, periodically. However, when the City decided to start using the building last year as housing for illegal immigrants, they also made the area not available to the public.

Jenson said, "We are apolitical people. What we care about is the sanctity and the reverence of the community and the remembrance of our brothers that lost their lives." Jensen is helping lead the charge for renewed access to the memorial site, along with others like Sgt. Stephen Chassee. Chassee said, "I've been to retirement ceremonies here. I've been to reenlistment ceremonies here. We can't do anything in there. We can't even come pay homage on Memorial Day. So, that's a big problem."

Shortly after the gathering began on Friday, May 17th, Mayor Brandon Johnson's office released a statement explaining that they would be partnering with the veterans in "exploring potential new sites" so that there would be access and visibility for he memorial. In response, Chassee said, "It takes a rally ... it takes an organization to come together to really make noise about it before people start paying attention sometimes, and it's great that the city and the alderman are stepping up and picking up the ball."

While the City did not provide a timeline for moving the memorial, the mayor's office did list the Lakefront and the Riverwalk as possible new locations. The veterans said that they are thankful and hopeful for real access to honor the fallen. 

The City Council approved the plan to transform the vacant building that the memorial currently sits in front of back in September 2023. According to CBS News, the alderman voted to use $1.5 million in tax increment financing to buy the 10.7-acre property located at 3034 W. Foster Ave. 

Before making the purchase and making many repairs to the building, it had become a large homeless encampment that was a safety risk for fires, drug use, and unsanitary conditions. After making the repairs, the City began housing up to 550 illegal immigrants there almost immediately. 

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Goes to show just how USELESS and UNAMERICAN pigs are ........

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