American Legion Post 673 Adjunct Herb Glissendorf has been the master of ceremonies of the organization’s Memorial Day ceremony for more than 20 years.
As he looked around the downtown square Monday, he said he was proud to see Huntley residents come out for the Memorial Day parade and ceremony.
“It’s exceptional here in Huntley,” he said of the turnout.
Glissendorf was one of the dignitaries who spoke during a ceremony after the Memorial Day parade. The ceremony included a color guard, the marching band and the laying of a memorial wreath.
“Memorial Day is not about picnics and parades. There is nothing wrong with celebrating with picnics and parades — it’s an American way of life,” Glissendorf said from the podium set up in the gazebo on the square. “Memorial Day is about the people who made the American way of life possible.”
Glissendorf said the day is to honor the fallen and their families who have made sacrifices, too. More than 6,000 servicemen and women have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. The families face the constant reminders of their loss, he said.
He asked the crowd to support the families of fallen soldiers who fought for God, country and family, particularly the children.
They fought and died for “children to grow up strong and free,” he said, for children to continue the spirit of Memorial Day.
Rafael Delapaz, 10, of Huntley was one of the children who participated in the ceremony and parade. The Boy Scout, who is with Pack 167, was one of several children who helped lay a wreath outside the legion hall to honor the fallen.
He knew the meaning of Memorial Day.
“It’s for people to remember people who died for us,” he said.