South Chicago remembers Vietnam War heroes with fundraiser to restore mural

On this Memorial Day weekend, residents of the South Chicago neighborhood are remembering members of their community lost during the Vietnam War. 

They're raising money to restore a mural honoring the 12 who died. 

A gun salute was held outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Sunday – a Mexican-American parish that is said to have had the most people serving in Vietnam than any parish in the country. 

Many still live there and greeted one another with handshakes and smiles and remembering their service in Vietnam more than 50 years ago. 

"When this country, the United States, called upon us to serve, we answered that call. We served with pride and dignity – not only for the community, but for our families," said one of the attendees. 

Across the street from the church is a mural with the names and faces of 12 soldiers from the parish who did not make it home. 

Their names were read aloud during Sunday's ceremony. 

A fundraising effort is underway to restore the mural and keep the names of the fallen alive. 

"We never want to forget those 12 young men and their families who paid the ultimate sacrifice," said Ald. Peter Chico, of the 10th Ward. 

Also in the memorial park, a stone bearing the names of those fallen soldiers. 

Retired Army Lt. Colonel Antonio Salazar said it inspired him as a kid to serve. 

"As a kid looking at that stone every day kind of inspired me to join the Army. But looking at that, the sacrifice they made for people like me, it inspired me to join the military as well," said Salazar.  

They also announced Sunday that Home Depot has contributed $25,000 toward efforts to restore the Mural of the Fallen.