Memorial Day in Braidwood

Marney Simon
Staff writer

More than 100 people braved the heat and humidity to take part in this year’s Memorial Day observance in Braidwood, Remembering those who have paid the ultimate price in their service to the United States.

The annual ceremony is hosted each year by the members of the American Legion Koca Post 39.

“This is the day we remember those who gave the ultimate price for our country,” said Koca Post Commander Jim Canup. “This year is the 100th year of the American Legion, and it’s our post’s 99th.”

The event featured local leaders who shared their thoughts on the men and women of the armed forces who have died during their service.

“As Americans, we pause each year on the last Monday in May to honor these individuals and remember their sacrifices,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “I am humbled when I think of all these men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, who lost their lives in the battles of our history. I am equally thankful for the men and women who continue to answer the call to serve this great nation. We should also recognize the families who support our military; they too make great sacrifices for our country.”

Walsh noted that 39,000 veterans call Will County home.

Walsh and Mayor Jim Vehrs placed a wreath at the Reed Township Veterans Memorial during the event.

Reed-Custer High School trumpeter Jackson Crater was the featured soloist for “Taps.”

Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. The national observance, which was originally known as Decoration Day, dates to the post-Civil War era, when the observation began as day to go to cemeteries to remember lost soldiers.

More than 1.35 million members of the U.S. armed forces have lost their lives in combat.