CHICAGO, May 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Military, public safety, community and business leaders came together today for a Memorial Day wreath laying and rededication ceremony at the General John A. Logan Monument, located in Chicago's Grant Park. The annual event was conducted to reaffirm a pledge to assemble, honor and remember those who serve our country. The event, which was sponsored by the Chicago Cultural Mile Association, also honored the spirit and memory of Civil War General John A. Logan, founder of Decoration Day, the predecessor of Memorial Day.
"The Memorial Day event featured a wreath laying ceremony to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It was conducted by representatives from each branch of the armed services as well as representatives from the Daughters of the American Revolution," according to J.R. Davis, Chairman and President of the Chicago Cultural Mile Association. "Major General John L. Borling, United States Air Force (Retired) and a former Vietnam Prisoner of War led the wreath laying ceremony," he added.
Iraq War veteran Captain Christian Palmer, United States Marines (Retired) provided a moving tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom by adding two names and photos to Illinois Faces of the Fallen Soldiers. "We will never forget the sacrifices of Army Private Aaron Toppen of Frankfort, killed while deployed in Afghanistan, and Marine Corporal Sara Medina of Aurora, killed while assisting victims of the Nepal earthquake. Sadly, a total of 255 soldiers from Illinois have earned a place of honor on the list since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts," said Davis.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was keynote speaker at the event and reminded attendees of the true meaning of Memorial Day. "She encouraged us to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom around the world and security in our own community," Davis continued.
James L Frazier, recipient of the Major General John A Logan Patriot Award, was honored and presented the Gold Star Family Wreath at the ceremony. In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, Dr. Carla Knorowski, CEO of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Foundation, presented the Fallen Soldiers of the Civil War Wreath.
"Also to acknowledge the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, J.R. Davis III and Richard Davis of the Chicago Cultural Mile Association shared the history of Memorial Day, the Logan Pledge and the Pledge of Allegiance," said Executive Director Sharene Shariatzadeh.
"We were also honored to have former aldermen Bob Fioretti and James Balcer participate in the tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice," Shariatzadeh continued. "The law enforcement and firefighter communities were also represented, and their members who have fallen in the line of duty were memorialized," she added.
In addition to a wreath laying ceremony, event participants witnessed the rededication of the General John A. Logan Monument. Unveiled on July 22, 1897 at a Decoration Day ceremony, the Logan Monument was erected to remember those who served their country. Civil War General Logan founded Decoration Day, now called Memorial Day, in 1868 with General Order No. 11 which says in part, "The 30th day of May, 1868, is designed for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."
The ROTC from Senn High School provided the Color Guard. The event concluded with a 21 Gun Salute conducted by the Chicago Police Department, Police Rifle Detail and taps played by Grace Adduci.
SOURCE Chicago Cultural Mile Association