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Monday, May 28 marked the 30th year the City of Crest Hill has been celebrating Memorial Day at the Veteran's & Police Memorial located on City Hall grounds. Mayor Ray Soliman presided over the event as the Master of Ceremonies while familiar faces such as Anna Mae Lukancic sang "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America." The Frankfort Brass Band directed by Michael A. Orenic performed flawless renditions of "The National Anthem" as well as the "Armed Services Medley" that features the official songs of all the armed forces such as "The Caisson Song" (Army), "The Marine's Hymn" (Marines), "Anchors Aweigh" (Navy), "Semper Paratus" (Coast Guard), and "The U.S. Air Force" (Air Force).
While Police Chief Ed Clark and Congressman Dan Lipinski gave brief but poignant speeches, it was guest speaker Master Sergeant Andy R. Kinne, Veteran of the United States Air Force, whose relevant words of unity in our country stand out. Master Sergeant Kinne is also the Lockport Township High School ROTC instructor and his ROTC students stood proudly, front and center, throughout the entirety of the service, honoring those who served. These students also displayed the protocol for flag folding as each fold was explained to the audience.
The laying of the Veterans Memorial Wreath was done by Vietnam Era Gold Star Mother Frances Brencich, Phyllis Powell, and former Crest Hill Mayor Donald Randich. Chief Clark escorted Betty Nink and Sue Simonsen to the laying of the Police Memorial Wreath. Officer's James Nink and Tim Simenson are the only two that have lost their lives serving the City of Crest Hill.
Closing out the ceremony was the Twenty-One Gun Salute displayed by American Legion Post 1080 as trumpeter Michael Creasey somberly played "Taps." The crowd was then led out by the the Frankfort Brass Band to the tune of "Stars and Stripes Forever."
The Crest Hill Memorial Garden was dedicated in 1988 and then expanded in 1995 to include an area for Crest Hill police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The garden includes large marble markers with names of residents who served in both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam, and during peacetime. There is also a marker for the two Crest Hill police officers who fell in the line of duty. You will also see flags flying from all military branches. More than 1,500 names have been etched into these beautiful commemorations.