"Veterans Day is unique," said Grayslake Central High School Principal John Bolger, addressing students at Monday's Veterans Day assembly.
"It's not like 4th of July. It's a day that commemorates people. We remember and are collectively grateful. They didn't go to war because they loved to fight. They were called to something bigger than themselve. We should commit ourselves to living more selflessly."
Schools in Grayslake recognized and honored local veterans Monday with various events and assemblies.
Vietnam Veteran Kirk Morris, a Gurnee trustee whose son Geoffrey, a Marine, died in Iraq in 2004, spoke at Grayslake Central's event about what the American flag means to him.
The constant winds felt throughout the area on Sunday, he said, kept the flag flying strong.
The wind, said Morris, "was the breath of every veteran telling us, 'I'm still here. Please remember me.'"
Steve Hainsley, also a Vietnam veteran, shared with students his experience completing Marine boot camp.
When he stepped off the bus, he said, "I never heard such language (from drill instructors). I had never been so scared in my life."
The film "Full Metal Jacket," said Hainsley, a former Buffalo Grove police officer from Vernon Hills, "was so realistic" in its depiction of boot camp.
Hainsley was wounded in action. He was severely injured by shrapnel on a day 50 of his fellow Marines died. He would later be awarded the Purple Heart.
Students at GCHS also planned a dinner Monday night for area veterans.
Grayslake North students also recognized Veterans Day with a video created by the Public Service Practicum class.