U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard, Public Affairs
Gov. Bruce Rauner presents the flag draped over Abraham Lincoln’s coffin to Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, the adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, during the opening ceremony of the Lincoln Funeral Re-Enactment May 2 in downtown Springfield. The flag will be put into the Illinois State Military Museum on Camp Lincoln in Springfield.
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei and members from the Illinois Air National Guard, Illinois Army National Guard and the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy all played a role May 2 in the Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-Enactment Events.
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.
Approximately 12,000 re-enactors along with 17 partner organizations and a few thousand spectators were present at the ceremony.
Rauner delivered a speech paying tribute to Lincoln as people crowded around to see Lincoln’s casket during the opening ceremony. Rauner said the event was a great opportunity for everyone to listen and learn about the state’s 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,” Krumrei said. “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 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,” Rauner said.
NOTE: This article was written by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard, Public Affairs.