CHICAGO -- During a ceremony at the American Airlines terminal at Chicago O’Hare Airport Monday, airline personnel and passers-by dedicated gate K-3 in honor of the Marine Corps as part of a series of events kicking off the first ever Marine Week here.
Chicago native Brig. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, commanding general, Training and Education Command, in Quantico, Va., was introduced by Linda P. Kozma, chapter chairman of Veteran Military Employee Resource group in charge of the event, prior to his address to the gathering crowd of more than 100 in Terminal Three at the airport.
“Chicago has been well represented by the Marine Corps,” said the 33-year veteran. “Marine Week will be an opportunity for Chicago’s citizens to see the Marine Corps first-hand and learn about its history.”
During her opening remarks, Kozma, also a Marine spouse, explained what it meant for her to be a part of the dedication ceremony for the Marine Corps.
“It’s an honor to be a part of Marine Week here in Chicago,” said Kozma. “Marines being (in the city) inspire myself and all the (American Airlines) employees who take part in it.”
A member of the Local 512 Transport Worker’s Union and Chicago resident, Fred Gajewski, was also one of the individuals who presented Spiese with a plaque during the ceremony. He said he was proud to play a small role in a big event like Marine Week.
Patrons walking throughout the airport had the opportunity to watch the ceremony and observe the Twentynine Palms Band based out of California.
The event marked the resource group’s first military recognition noted Kozma, who pushed for American Airlines to be a part of Marine Week. This past Veteran’s Day the airlines also decorated planes with yellow-ribbon decals to symbolize their commitment to honoring America’s military.
The traveling display of the National Museum of the Marine Corps will be in terminal three until Thursday.