SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Governor Bruce Rauner, Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and members from the Illinois Air National Guard, Illinois Army National Guard and the Lincoln's Challenge Academy all played a role in the Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-Enactment Events May 2 in Springfield, Illinois.
Two Airmen from the 183rd Air Refueling Wing and two Soldiers from the 233rd Military Police Company, both units based in Springfield, provided a color guard detail posting the colors during the opening ceremony.
Over 12,000 re-enactors along with 17 partnering organizations and a few thousand spectators were present at the ceremony.
Governor Rauner delivered a speech to paying tribute Lincoln as people crowded around to see Lincoln's casket during the opening ceremony downtown Springfield.
Rauner said the event was a great opportunity for everyone to listen and learn about our fallen hero.
Krumrei spoke of Lincoln's service in the Illinois Militia during the Black Hawk War and said the very image of Lincoln is a symbol of freedom. The Illinois Militia is now known as the Illinois National Guard.
"Lincoln did not aspire to be an icon," said Krumrei. "He was a man of the people...a man for the people. A man elected...by the people...to do a job and was determined to succeed."
The event concluded with the exchange of gifts honoring Lincoln's memory including Governor Rauner presenting the flag that was draped over Lincoln's coffin during the re-enactment to Krumrei to be place in the Illinois State Military Museum on Camp Lincoln.
In addition to the opening ceremony, other events went on honoring Lincoln gathering more crowds of people eager to listen to the history behind the iconic leader. Members of the 144th Army Band played military songs for people at a church in downtown Springfield while members of the Lincoln's Challenge Academy out of Rantoul, Illinois served as volunteers for the encampment activities in Lincoln Park.
"It was a wonderful event and a great outpouring of love and emotion for our greatest Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln," said Rauner.
ILNG Gold Star families honored at remembrance ceremony on Camp Lincoln
SPRINGFIELD, IL (05/03/2015)(readMedia)-- Governor Bruce Rauner, Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, the Adjutant General for the Illinois National Guard, other senior leaders and Soldiers gathered with the Gold Star Families at the Fallen Heroes Memorial May 3 at the Illinois State Military Museum on Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois.
Thirty-four Illinois National Guardsmen, 1 Airmen and 33 Soldiers, killed during Operation Iraqi and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Governor Rauner said these Guardsmen are our heroes.
"We all owe these brave men and women a great debt of graduate for their sacrifices," said Rauner. "It is a privilege to be here today to remember them, to honor them and to pay tribute."
Krumrei placed a wreath at the memorial on behalf of the Illinois National Guard while all Soldiers present rendered a salute honoring the fallen guardsmen.
"We have held this ceremony each year to honor these guardsmen and we will continue to do so in the future," said Krumrei. "These families will never forget their loved ones and we as the Illinois National Guard will never forget them."
The ceremony ended with the families placing a yellow rose at the base of the memorial and Rauner greeting each family member to offer his condolences.