Moments after performing on the Village Green in Lake Bluff, the Lake Forest High School Band and conductor Janene Kessler boarded a bus for Lake Forest's Memorial Day Observance in Market Square. The ceremony was sponsored by American Legion McKinlock Post 264 in conjunction with local Scout Troops. Post Commander Steve King opened the morning's gathering by pointing out a sobering statistic: "More than one million American service members have died in U.S. wars and conflicts this nation has fought since the first Colonial soldiers took up arms in 1775 to fight for independence."
Commander King continued: "From the Civil War to Europe–from Pearl Harbor to Korea–from Vietnam to Grenada–from Kuwait to Afghanistan and Iraq–men and women have died so that we could continue to enjoy the things that they loved: God, country and family. That is why we gather at Market Square on Memorial Day each year. That is why Lake Forest American Legion veterans and community volunteers posted 500 flags on the streets of Lake Forest this morning. That is why the Lake Forest American Legion posted over 3,000 flags at four cemeteries at Fort Sheridan and in Lake Forest this weekend, to honor the memory of family members and friends who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We are also reminded on this day that in every generation, brave men and women will always step forward to take that oath of allegiance as members of America's Armed Forces, willing to fight and die if necessary, for the sake of freedom."
Later in the ceremony, when the band played a medley of Armed Forces theme songs, veterans such as Robert Bramhall stood up when they heard their service's song. He fought in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division and lived in Lake Forest for 37 years until 2008, when he and his wife moved to Libertyville. Dozens of other veterans attended or were part of the ceremony, including Post Chaplain Bob Pommer; Post Vice Commanders Bill Leslie and Tom Marks; Post Auxiliary President Sharon Kraviec; the Post Color Guard under the direction of Larry Crone; and Memorial Day guest speaker Captain Thomas E. McGue.