At the Nov. 11 Fountain Square ceremony, from left: Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Mayor Daniel Biss, veteran Gregory Lisinski, Commander Brian Beatty of Evanston VFW Post 7186, Commander Will Candelario of American Legion Post 42, Vietnam veteran Hal Shanafield, Chaplain Christine Candelario and Chaplain Charles Spivey. Credit: Wendi Kromash

About 100 people, veterans and nonveterans alike, gathered at Fountain Square on Friday, Nov. 11, to recognize and honor those who have served.

Greg Lisinski of Evanston American Legion Post 42 presided over the simple, dignified Veterans Day ceremony. Of all the words he spoke that day, perhaps the most impactful ones were those he spoke as the ceremony drew to a close.

“People commonly refer to this as the Evanston Veterans Memorial, but this is not the Evanston Veterans Memorial. It is a war memorial. The people on this wall never got a chance to be veterans,” Lisinski said.

Crowd attends Veterans Day ceremony at Fountain Square. Credit: Wendi Kromash

That simple fact hung in the cold November air. As veterans are honored across the country, many are in crisis. Those in attendance were urged to spread the word about the Veterans Crisis Line: Veterans can dial 988, then press 1. No enrollment in VA benefits or health care is needed.

Memorial wreaths at Fountain Square. Credit: Wendi Kromash

The ceremony began with traditional elements: the presentation of the colors, singing the national anthem and a short reflection honoring a higher power.

County Commissioner Suffredin is honored with a plaque. From left: Biss, Suffredin and American Legion Post 42 Commander Candelario, Credit: Wendi Kromash

After the speeches, wreaths were placed at the flagpole by members from veterans groups and auxiliaries. The Post 42 rifle team offered a salute and Paul Hletko, a senior at ETHS, played taps. 

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was honored for his service. Suffredin is in the final weeks of his fifth and final term as commissioner for the 13th District that includes Evanston.

Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss spoke and two council members, Krissie Harris, 2nd Ward; and Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward; also attended.

Wendi Kromash

Wendi Kromash is curious about everything and will write about anything. She tends to focus on one-on-one interviews with community leaders, recaps and reviews of cultural events, feature stories about...

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