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July 4th Fireworks at Walter Payton’s Hill in Arlington Heights, Illinois

Sun July 15 2007 4:08 am
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Fourth of July fireworks at Walter Payton’s Hill in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

From Walter Payton’s Hill, you can see fireworks from several northwest suburbs of Chicago: Arlington Heights at Arlington Park Racetrack, Buffalo Grove, Itasca, Melas Park in Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, the north shore suburbs, Wheeling and more. The video catches the action from northeast to south-southwest views from the top of Walter Payton’s Hill.

Walter Payton’s Hill is a dedicated hill at the Nickol Knoll Golf Course [MAP/SAT] on the northside of Arlington Heights with a beautiful view of the Chicago skyline and surrounding suburbs. Chicago Bears Running Back Walter Payton (#34) used to train and condition himself for football by sprinting several repetitions up the side of this steep hill.

Walter Payton (#34) his rookie year in 1975 (left) and his last season in 1987.

Walter Payton, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member, distinguished himself as one of the National Football League’s most productive and memorable players. He also set many rushing records during his professional and collegiate career.

After a standout career at Jackson State University, The Bears drafted Payton with the fourth overall selection in the 1975 NFL Draft. He quickly established himself as a Pro Bowl caliber football player, and won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award in his third season as a professional football player. He continued to play for the Bears until his retirement in 1988 and was a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX in 1986.

Walter Payton died in 1999, after struggling several months with a rare liver disease known as primary sclerosing cholangitis, which caused the growth of a cancerous tumor in his liver. Payton spent his final months as an advocate for organ transplants, appearing in many commercials to encourage others to donate organs. The following April, Payton made a final public appearance at a Chicago Cubs game with Mike Ditka, where he threw the game’s ceremonial first pitch.

As a well loved public figure and celebrity, he was offered the option of moving up on the waiting list for organ donors, but declined this offer because it would mean another would die instead of him. On November 1, 1999, Payton died from complications related to his illness.

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