Greg Lisinski of American Legion Post 43 (at lectern) emceed the Memorial Day celebration at Fountain Square on May 31.

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Evanston’s observance of Memorial Day began at 10:30 a.m. and ended about a half hour later, with a brief pause during the first of a wave of thunderstorms that hit the area Monday morning. 

American Legion Post 42, Snell Post 7186, Viet Nam veterans, Northwestern University’s ROTC and a Rogers Park post were represented in the ceremonies.

Speaking for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky who he said could not attend the ceremonies, David Davis said Americans are beneficiaries of the bravery of veterans and stewards of their sacrifice.

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin read the poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

State Representative Robyn Gabel recounted the losses of “brothers of friends” she had experienced during the Viet Nam war and said she hoped to see a time “when we no longer have war.”

Veterans Henry Reavis, Clifford Washington and Hal Shanafield each asked the crowd of more than 100 to remember all veterans.

“You are living examples of remembering and honoring our troops,” Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl told the crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at Fountain Square for the ceremonies.

In closing, Evan Foley of Troop 3 at St. Athanasius played taps. Ira Golan, who for years led the audience in “God Bless America,” returned to lead the singing again, after which wreaths and flowers were laid at the post dedicated by General Douglas MacArthur upon his visit to Evanston in 1951.