Whether you're visiting over Memorial Day or Veterans Day holiday weekends, or just have an interest in the armed forces, Chicago has a number of sites honoring U.S. veterans and those who have died while serving. Celebrate the country's military past with these Chicago attractions, museums, and memorials.

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

104 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 60603, 312-374-9333,

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library houses more than 35,000 books, posters, photographs, videos and artifacts ranging from military medals to swords.  The collections and exhibits tell the revealing story of American history through the eyes of the citizen soldier. You can take a docent-guided tour (offered daily at 11 am) or explore on your own. Wander the collections of training comics from WWII and Korea, medical research files on early ambulances and civil war nurses or learn about the millions of soldiers who have received the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in combat.

Museum Hours: Tues.-Thur.: 10am-6pm; Fri.-Sat.: 10am-4pm; Closed Sun.-Mon.
Admission: $5 (Free admission for visitors with active military ID)


Soldier Field

1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, 60605; 312-235-7152,

Known as the home of the Chicago Bears professional football team, Soldier Field is also a working monument in honor of the men and women who died in World War I. Built in 1924, the stadium has become an icon for both sports and military history. You can take a guided tour of the structure, which will take you through the South Courtyard where panels of falling leaves pay homage to soldiers who lost their lives in battle. You will also see the Doughboy statue, famous Colonnades and the field itself. Want to explore on your own? Check out the Memorial Waterfall, a 280-foot long wall with eight medallions honoring the different branches of the armed forces, located near the north entrance. Or head over to the Veteran's Memorial on the north end of the stadium, which features a John F. Kennedy inscription.

Tour Hours: Tours are approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Dates and times are updated at the end of each month and reservations are required. 
Admission: $15 per adult, $7 for seniors, $10 for students 10 and over, $4 for children ages 4-9, and free for children ages 3 and under.


Navy Pier

600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago 60611; 312-595-7437,

Filled with restaurants, museums, rides and shopping, Navy Pier is the most visited attraction in Chicago. It also has a strong military history. The pier, which opened in 1916 as Municipal Pier, was renamed in 1927 to honor Navy veterans of World War I and served as a training center for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Today, you can experience the nautical influence with a cruise on one of many vessels parked along the pier, including Windy, Chicago's very own Tall Ship. If you'd rather stay on dry land, grab a quick photo at the eight-ton anchor on display from the USS Chicago, the third warship to be named after the city. The anchor is dedicated as a memorial to each ship named "Chicago" and to the men and women who served their nation. 

Hours: Open year-round, operating hours vary depending on the season.
Admission: Free. Attractions within the pier may have admission prices. 


National Veterans Art Museum 

4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd Floor; 312-326-0270;

Opened in 1981, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by veterans. You can see one of the rotating exhibitions or browse the permanent collection of artwork totaling over 2,500 pieces. The museum also has many educational opportunities to let visitors connect with the collections. 

Hours: Tues.–Sat. 10am–5pm
Admission: Free


Chicago Cultural Center - Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda

78 E. Washington St., 

Enter the Chicago Cultural Center from the north side (Randolph St.) and you will see the 45-foot by 50-foot Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Rotunda, located at the top of the curving marble staircase. The ceiling is embossed with carvings of swords, shields, helmets, and flags, reminding visitors of the losses that come with war. The G.A.R. Memorial Hall is beyond the rotunda and was once used as a meeting place for members of the G.A.R. and displayed a collection of Civil War artifacts (now preserved at the Harold Washington Library Center). The room is a decorated memorial to Civil War soldiers and the walls bear the names of 30 battles.

Hours: Open daily; check the website for hours and holiday closures.
Admission: Free 


Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza

Wacker Dr. at Wabash St.

Located along the Chicago River, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza commemorates the events of the war and the servicemen from Chicago and Illinois who fought and died there. Built in 2005, it consists of a terraced lawn, a waterfall, and a reflection pool. Dozens of military plaques and emblems can be found throughout the memorial, honoring the branches of the military that served in Vietnam.

The memorial is free and open to the public year-round.  


Elks Veteran Memorial

2750 N. Lakeview Ave.; 773-755-4700;

Built in 1926, the Elks National Veterans Memorial honors the bravery, loyalty, and dedication of the thousands of Americans who fought and died for the U.S. It is said to be a symbol of peace and patriotism of the members of the Elks fraternity. 

Hours: The memorial is open for public touring Mon.–Sat. noon–4pm from April 15 through November 15.
Admission: Free 


Rosehill Cemetary and Civil War Museum

5800 N. Ravenswood Ave., 773-561-5940

Rosehill Cemetary, located on the city's Northwest side, contains graves of fourteen Union generals, six drummer boys and hundreds of Civil War soldiers. A portion of the administration building is a dedicated Civil War museum featuring exhibits on the war, highlighting those buried there and Chicago's role in the war. A detailed, two-hour tour of the cemetery can be taken with the Chicago Architecture Center, or you can explore the cemetery on your own.

Hours: Mon.–Sat. 8am–4pm; Sun. 10am–5pm.
Admission: Free 


Battle of Midway Memorial

Midway International Airport, 5700 S. Cicero Ave. 773-838-0600;

Military past can be admired the minute you step off the plane in Chicago. The Battle of Midway Memorial exhibit, on display at Midway International Airport, features photographs, narratives and interactive video kiosks with accounts of an SBD Dauntless aircraft that hangs from the ceiling. The plane was recovered from Lake Michigan in 1991, 47 years after it crashed during training exercises, and it now hangs as part of the exhibit, providing an educational experience about the contributions of the pilots, engineers, and City of Chicago during World War II. 

Memorial is free and open to visitors to the airport.


Eternal Flame in Daley Plaza

Washington St. between Clark St. and Dearborn St.

Downtown's Daley Plaza, situated next to Richard J. Daley Civic Center and City Hall, is home to the Eternal Flame memorial honoring American casualties from the early 20th century battles through the Vietnam War. This is the site of the wreathing ceremony during the annual Memorial Day Parade. 

The memorial is free and open to the public year-round. 


Manuel Perez Memorial Plaza

26th St. and Kolin Ave.

The Manuel Perez Memorial Plaza is a small park in the Little Village neighborhood with murals, mosaics, and a granite column honoring Manuel Perez Jr., who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Luzon in the Philippine Islands in 1945 during World War II.

The memorial is free and open to the public year-round.


Victory Monument

35th St. and King Dr.

The Leonard Crunelle-designed Victory Monument was created to honor the achievements of the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France during World War I. The monument in Bronzeville was dedicated in 1928 and serves as the site of an annual Memorial Day ceremony. 

The monument is free and open to the public year-round. 


Chinese American Veterans Memorial

Cermak Rd. and Archer Ave.

Located at the corner of a major intersection in the Chinatown neighborhood, the Chinese American Veterans Memorial pays tribute to those in the community who fought and died in the armed forces.

The memorial is free and open to the public year-round. 


John Alexander Logan Monument

East of S. Michigan Ave. at E. 9th St.

Located in Grant Park, the bronze John Alexander Logan Monument is a tribute to the Illinois-born military leader. He served in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, working his way up to General. He became head of the Grand Army of the Republic and is credited with the creation of Memorial Day. A wreath laying ceremony is often held at the monument on Memorial Day prior to the city's annual parade.

Monument is free and open to the public year-round.  


Related Listings

Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5300

Soldier Field
1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 235-7066

Pritzker Military Museum & Library
104 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 374-9333

Chicago Architecture Center
224 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 922-3432

Featured Partners