11/11/2010 12:27 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Veterans Day 2010: Honoring Those Who Serve In Chicago And Suburbs

Today, the United States is honoring nearly 3 million veterans who served their country.

Veterans Day started back in November 1919 when President Wilson declared Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. President Wilson said, "to us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory..."

Illinois has several Veterans Memorials throughout the state dedicated to soldiers from Illinois. The memorials include the World War II Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall.

We rounded up events in the city and suburbs that honor those who have proudly served their nation.

Veterans Day Ceremony

Mayor Daley will be speaking at this event honoring vets and there will be music provided by the U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes.

Where: Soldier Field, Gate 0, 1410 s. Museum Campus Dr
When: Thursday, November 11, 11 a.m.
Cost: FREE

Brookfield Zoo Ceremony

During this ceremony, a memorial wreath will be placed at the Roosevelt Fountain, a chorus will sing the National Anthem and the zoo's bald eagle will make an appearance.

Where: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield
When: Thursday, November 11, 1 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Applebee's Free Meal

The restaurant will offer a free meal to all veterans and active duty personnel.

Where: Applebee's, many locations
When: Thursday, November 11
Cost: FREE

Hooters Free Meal

All day Thursday, the restaurant shows appreciated to veterans with a free meal.

Where: Hooters, many locations
When: Thursday, November 11
Cost: FREE after the purchase of a drink

Letters Home

This Griffin Theatre production reads and reenacts the real words and stories of soldiers who served in the Middle East.

Where: Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.
When: Thursday, November 11, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $20