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How does Illinois celebrate its naval history?

Illinois Honors Rich Naval Traditions with Diverse Celebrations

The state of Illinois, despite its Midwestern location far from oceanic coastlines, boasts a proud naval history that is celebrated through various events and memorials across the state. Illinoisans pay homage to their maritime heritage, highlighting the state’s significant contributions to naval warfare and innovation.

Annual Events and Commemorations

One of the most prominent annual events is Chicago’s Navy Week, which coincides with the city’s Air and Water Show. During this time, the U.S. Navy showcases its sailors and latest technology, with ship tours and educational activities that provide a glimpse into naval life. The Great Lakes Naval Museum, located at the Naval Station Great Lakes, also hosts events throughout the year, including the commemoration of significant naval battles and the celebration of the Navy’s birthday.

Memorials and Monuments

Illinois is home to several memorials that honor the sacrifices of its naval servicemen and women. The most notable is the National Museum of the American Sailor, which serves as a repository for the rich history of the U.S. Navy’s enlisted Sailor. Additionally, the state features memorials such as the Sailor and Soldier Monument in Chicago, which stands as a testament to the bravery of Illinois’ naval personnel.


Q: Why does Illinois celebrate naval history?
A: Illinois celebrates its naval history to honor the contributions and sacrifices of its servicemen and women and to educate the public about the state’s maritime heritage.

Q: Are there any naval bases in Illinois?
A: Yes, the Naval Station Great Lakes, located near North Chicago, is the U.S. Navy’s only boot camp and the home of the Great Lakes Naval Museum.


Navy Week: A series of events designed to give Americans the opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security and prosperity.
Great Lakes Naval Museum: A museum dedicated to the history of the Naval Station Great Lakes and the sailors who have trained there.
National Museum of the American Sailor: A museum that preserves and interprets the history of the United States Navy’s enlisted Sailor.