“Freedom is not free — It must be earned and preserved by each succeeding generation.”
The inscription on the Kane County Veteran’s Memorial, the site of the 2014 Memorial Day ceremony, where two names were added to the memorial’s Wall of Honor: those of Aurorans Rachel Carey and William Holstine.
The annual ceremony paid tribute to those Kane County residents who gave their full devotion in defense of this country. It is hosted by the Kane County Veterans Assistance Commission.
Jacob A. Zimmerman, superintendent of the Veterans Assistance Commission, said he was proud that so many people took the time from their Memorial Day afternoon to take part in the ceremony.
“This is the time of the year when we remember those who have fallen,” he said. “It’s something I’ve done since before I was in the military, when I was in Boy Scouts, and I’ve continued ever since. I came to this memorial when John Carr was the superintendent here, and it’s such a wonderful ceremony the commission has put on each year, and we love to have a big crowd out to honor Kane County’s fallen.
“It was very moving this morning, when I was setting up the chairs, to see individuals come down after the parade or just walking the dog, and they’d come over and put a flag in the wall, or a rose — somebody put a rose in there — and a couple folks said a prayer aloud, and it was just very moving that America remembers. And that’s what it was all about.”
Speakers included Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, Pastor Jerry Gleason, a retired lieutenant colonel of Illinois Army National Guard, 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren, and the keynote speaker, decorated veteran Col. Duane A. Buttell Jr., retired of the U.S. Air Force.
Posting of the colors was conducted by AMVETS Post 202 Elgin, Illinois, “The Empty Chair Poem” was read by its author, Al Brady, the hobor guard firing squad was made up of members of the Kane County Forest Preserve District Police, and “Taps” was performed by Richard Stanczak, Bugles Across America.
About the Kane County Veterans Memorial
The Kane County Veterans Memorial was conceived in 1997 to honor the men and women of this nation and the Kane County “citizen soldiers” who served in the United States Armed Forces. The Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2004.
The mission of the Kane County Veterans Memorial is to recognize their dedication in protecting this free nation from the Spanish/American War through the current conflicts. The Wall of Honor is the repository for all the names of the Kane County War dead. The Veterans Memorial is for remembrance, solitude, and reflection on sacrifices made by Kane County’s citizen soldiers.
This Veterans Memorial is a solemn reminder to and for the citizens of Kane County, that we the people remember and cherish the legacy of freedom, justice, democracy, and peace which Kane County veterans have defended.
With the addition of Rachel Carey and William Holstine, the Wall of Honor now is inscribed with the names of 856 men and women from Kane County who have died while on Active Duty during a time of war.