"This is a day of remembrance, reflection and appreciation," said Darl Drummond, Vice President of Student Development for the College of Lake County at Friday's Veterans Day ceremony.
"We owe a lot of gratitude to each and every one of them," said Drummond of our veterans. "We salute you and thank you for the bravery that has given others a better life."
Sponsored by the CLC Student Activities Program Board, the event featured a prayer by Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Roger C. Bouma, a poem by professor Joel Chmara and Student Veterans Club President Ingrid Marlowe, who read a letter her Army Reservist father wrote about why he couldn't take her to the zoo at age 6 during "drill weekend."
Marlowe said she just received the letter, because her father wanted to wait until she was older so she would fully understand why he wasn't always able to be around on weekends because of the serious duty he had to serve his country.
The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Debra Lewis, who served 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman, retiring as a Hospital Corpsman First Class (E6).
Lewis served as a field medic, dermatology technician, instructor, recruiter and recruit division commander over her military career. She works at Naval Station Great Lakes at Training Support Command as a command school coordinator.
Lewis spoke of leaving Cleveland, Ohio, as a young woman to pursue a Navy career, and the sense of pride and duty she felt throughout that career.
"There is extreme sacrifice by self and family. You take it seriously when you fly the flag over your house on 4th of July and Memorial Day."
The Navy, said Lewis, "taught me skills I will use the rest of my life."
Several veterans in the audience also spoke about their experiences and thanked the community for its continued support of veterans past, present and future.