Those wishing to pay their respects at the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument will now get some help in finding it. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has installed “attraction signs” at Exit 21B (Harlem exit) on the 290 Expressway going to and from Chicago.
Sculpted by Albert Weinert and paid for by The Pioneer Aid and Support Association, the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument was dedicated on June 25, 1893. Over a hundred years later, in 1997, the monument was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Both the Historical Society of Forest Park (HSFP) and the Illinois Labor History Society (ILHS) helped to make this happen. They were supported in their efforts by Forest Park Commissioner Jessica Voogd, Forest Park Public Works head Salvatore Stella, and Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins. The signs were designed by Rafael Nieves.
Every year, the HSFP and the ILHS collaborate in hosting the May Day (May 1) event at the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument in the Forest Home Cemetery. On that same day, the HSFP features a tour of the Monument and of the resting places of the radicals of the era who chose to be buried next to the Monument. Visitors from all over the world come to pay their respects and celebrate the establishment of the eight-hour day for workers everywhere. May Day is regarded as Labor Day outside of the United States.