Veteran's dying wish honored by community

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James O'Connor has lived in the same house in north suburban Antioch for decades. His neighbors wanted to do something special for him in the final days of his life. (WLS)

James "Jim" O'Connor has served in three wars, raised two children and four grandchildren, and has lived in the same house in north suburban Antioch, Illinois for decades. His neighbors wanted to do something special for him in the final days of his life.

It started with a standing ovation and then the national anthem. Hundreds lined the streets to salute O'Connor, 91, whose health has taken a turn for the worse. His only request in hospice care was to hear bagpipes.

That request was fulfilled in a big way.

"In 24 hours, this is what Facebook is capable of. This is what social media can do for the good," said Mary O'Connor, his daughter.

The Northern Illinois Bagpipes played for 30 minutes. A sea of men and women in uniform, neighbors and families with young kids, and even complete strangers showed up to honor a true American hero.

"He comes for a generation who thought about others. We need more Americans like him," one neighbor said.

The mayor declared it Jim O'Connor Day in the village of Antioch. The whole thing came together in less than 24 hours.
Related Topics:
societyveteranlive musicfeel goodAntioch
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