Shoppers heading to Cabela's in Hoffman Estates on Saturday, Dec. 8, will be greeted by the faces of Illinois servicemen and women who have died in combat during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A ceremony honoring the fallen will be held at 10 a.m. outside the store, 5225 Prairie Stone Parkway, and the Illinois Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall will be on site for viewing.
Keynote speaker, Col. Thomas Purple, will dedicate seven wreaths -- representing the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and POW/MIA -- and light a luminaria.
The ceremony is a way that Cabela's is participating in Wreaths Across America, an national effort to lay wreaths throughout veterans' cemeteries every December.
Diane Schneider, event marketing and brand manager for Cabela's, said the wall was set up at the store last December, too, and about 150 people attended the ceremony.
"We try to make it, as much as we can, an upbeat-type ceremony (to show) that we are very thankful for these families and their sacrifices," Schneider said.
She said shoppers who don't attend the ceremony will still pause to look at all the pictures of the fallen soldiers.
"When you stop and you look and you see all those faces you begin to think, wow, we lost all those folks in the Middle East conflicts just from Illinois," she said. "It's not just a name on the wall."
Schneider said other attendees at the ceremony will include ROTC students from DePaul University and the University of Illinois; members of the Bartlett VFW; a bugler from the Barrington area; members of Operation Freedom; and Blue Star and Gold Star families.
For information on the wall visit ilpgmemorialwall.com.