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Where the Chicago Bears call home

Despite all of the complaints, there is something very special about the Bears' home venue, and today is the day to keep in mind the value of Soldier Field.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears do not play at Big Company Stadium, nor do they call play in a venue named after Sid Luckman, George Halas, or some other team icon. Rather, the Chicago Bears play at Soldier Field, a memorial to the veterans of this country. On Memorial Day, it's worth remembering more than football. It's worth considering the privilege enjoyed by the Beloved, and by all of us.

Grant Park Stadium opened in 1924, and it became Soldier Field in 1925, renamed to honor the soldiers who had fought in the Great War, which would go on to be called World War One. A year after being renamed, the location was formally dedicated as Soldier Field while hosting the Army-Navy Game. That was the same year the Armistice Day Game was held between the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cardinals, marking the first professional football game played at Soldier Field.

The Bears were not wholly absent from Soldier Field after this one game, however. The All-Star Game, a contest between graduating college football players and the previous year's NFL champions, was held at Soldier Field from 1934 to 1976. During that time, the Bears were present seven times. Additionally, the Bears did play the occasional game at the site.

Finally, in 1971, Soldier Field became the new home to the Bears because the NFL wanted the team to have a larger stadium with greater seating. There have been many, many complaints about Soldier Field over the years. The grass is considered a hazard, the venue is thought of as outdated, and the seating capacity is widely criticized. All of those complaints might be valid on 364 days of the year.

However, today, Bears fans should simply be proud of the fact that their football team plays its home games at Soldier Field, a park and a monument to our veterans instead of a simple sports venue.