Thorner: The Village of Lake Bluff Celebrates Memorial Day in a Big Way
June 3, 2016
A Photo of Veterans saluting
The Village of Lake Bluff Celebrates Memorial Day in a Big Way – by Lake Bluff resident, Nancy J. Thorner
Memorial Day, borne out of the Civil War, was originally called Decoration Day and celebrated on May 30th to honor those who died fighting in the Civil War. Memorial Day is now regarded as a day of remembrance for those who have died fighting any war in service of the United States of America. With Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 the date of Memorial Day was changed from May 30th to the last Monday in May as a way to ensure a three day Federal holiday weekend.
Lake Bluff from its very beginning had young people in times of war who were willing to serve their country. The Necrology revealed the names of 16 Lake Bluffers who died in service to their country starting with the Civil War.
On a picture perfect morning, Lake Bluff’s Memorial Day Ceremony was held on the Village Green in downtown Lake Bluff in front of a large gathering of Lake Bluffers and a dwindling number of proud veterans, most seated on chairs, as members of Lake Bluff Post 510, David Cimarrusti, Commander.
The spirit of patriotism was ever present as pre-ceremony marches by the Lake Forest High School band set the mood for what was to follow from the raising of the flag by Boy Scout Troop 42 to the final wreath laying ceremony.
A long tradition at Lake Bluff Memorial Day Celebrations, the recitation of “In Flander’s Field” by Esther Fetherolf, a longtime resident of Lake Bluff before her death in 2015, continued unbroken this year when Deb Dintruff, President, 4th of July Committee, read the heart-wrenching poem. Esther started the tradition to honor her father, a participant in WWI.
Guest Speaker Captain David S. Kemp, Commander, MEPCOM, recently appointed as Chief of Naval Operations Reserve Forces after being stationed in Germany for 5 years, expressed an affinity for Lake Bluff as a Navy guy and former ship driver. Lake Michigan reminded him of the ocean, while Lake Bluff brought back memories of his childhood home in New York.
In speaking of the 205,000 young people who enlisted and were shipped off to nine different boot camps out of the 1/2 million who were interviewed, Captain Kemp spoke of the very moving sacred oath (a promise) all had to take in front of a witness to defend their nation, fully realizing they might have to give their all.
In speaking about today’s young people, Kemp related how 1 in 3 adults believe young people are lazy and spend too much time on the Internet and will fail to make the world a better place. Not so said Kemp, who believes this generation of young people born between 1982 and 2004 (called Millennials) have the potential to become “the next great generation.” This in contrast to Generation X born in the time frame of 1965 to 1984.
The Marine Air Con
trol Group 48 Firing Detail from Great Lakes provided the Salute to Fallen Comrades.