CHICAGO (CBS) — There was a huge patriotic turnout Tuesday night for a fallen soldier from the southwest suburbs.
Children played and danced in the new Michael Sutter Park in Tinley Park. The area is dedicated to Michael Sutter, who was killed during a tour of duty in Iraq back in 2003.
The 28-year-old from Tinley Park was serving as an Army staff sergeant in Iraq, defusing IED’s to protect his fellow soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
His mother, Judy, said on the day after Christmas in 2003, he had already disarmed one bomb, when a second killed him.
“There was another bomb underneath the road, pressure treated. So when he stepped on it, it blew up,” she said.
In his two-and-a-half months in Iraq, her son dismantled some 80 bombs. She said Sutter Park will serve as a lasting memorial to Michael.
“It just shows that the community is not going to forget my son,” she said.
More than ten years after her son’s death, it’s especially painful now to see all the hard-fought gains made in Iraq unraveling as radical ISIS fighters take over large swaths of the country.
“It seems like, why is this going on again?” she said.
Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki said he’s glad Sutter Park will offer at least some measure of consolation to the Sutter family.
“We cannot forget. We have to remember what these people did, and the sacrifices that they themselves made, and what their families have gone through.”