Artists Anna Koh Varilla and Jeffrey Hanson Varilla created this monumental bronze bas-relief depicting men and women of the Armed Services and their families relaxing along Chicago’s lakefront with the skyline in the background. The figures represent Chicago’s broad ethnic and racial diversity as well as a range of historical periods. The fifteen-feet-tall sculpture is located at the north entrance to Soldier Field. Mayor Richard M. Daley dedicated Tribute to Freedom on Veterans Day in November of 2003.
The monument’s east side features a famous quotation by John F. Kennedy, which reads: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the success and survival of liberty.” The Varillas also sculpted bronze medallions to symbolize each of the branches of the Armed Services. These are mounted on the adjacent granite water wall at Soldier Field. A married couple, the artists have been working together since 1986 on sculpture, paintings, and drawings. They formed the Koh-Varilla Guild which specializes in classic realism, inspired by centuries of this genre in Western art.