From Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) staff members represented the Navy at various Memorial Day events around the Chicago region, May 23-25.
Rear Adm. Rich Brown, NSTC commander participated in the annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza and the Memorial Day parade on State Street. Brown whose NSTC headquarters is 35 miles north of Chicago, at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and representatives from each of the armed services for the commemoration.
Chicago's annual Memorial Day parade has been around since 1870. It is held to honor those who have given their lives to the service of their country. The parade draws more than 10,000 spectators every year and is considered one of the largest parades of its kind in the country.
"I am proud to take part in this Memorial Day weekend commemoration," said Brown. "Sailors past, present and future should be proud to share in the service of the great Americans we honor today."
The parade featured dozens of marching units and floats including several Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) units from around the region.
Brown's senior enlisted advisor, Command Master Chief Leon Walker took part in the Memorial Day event held at the Skokie school in Winnetka, Illinois. Walker was the keynote speaker in an event that included local Boy Scout troops, Veteran's of Foreign War (VFW) members, Coast Guard color guard, a local community choir and band, as well as local dignitaries.
"Some look at Memorial Day as a day off school or work and some see it as a time to grill out," said Walker. "But this is a holiday where we honor those that have fought and lost their lives for something we sometimes take for granted."
NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's citizenship development program. NSTC includes Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp; NROTC at more than 160 colleges and universities across the country; Officer Training Command (OTC) in Newport, Rhode Island; NJROTC and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.