Lake Forest College hosted the ninth annual Heroes Day at Forester Football’s season opening game on Saturday, September 1. This event has been held every year since 2009 to recognize all servicemen and women, veterans, and civil servants who protect both our community and country year round.
The day of celebrations began with the Forester football team’s parade onto the field in which many members held flags representing different branches of the military. In order to be selected as a flag-carrier, members on the team wrote a letter to head coach Jim Catanzaro explaining their personal connection to the respective flag that they hoped to carry on the field.
After the Foresters took the field, the Lake Forest American Legion McKinlock Post 264 presented the colors for the singing of the National Anthem. As a special addition to this year’s event the National Anthem was sung beautifully by Musician Third Class Danlie Cuenca, a member of the Navy Band Great Lakes. Several members representing “America’s Band” from the Navy Band Great Lakes were in attendance to perform patriotic openers leading up to kickoff, but due to poor weather conditions, the band was unfortunately unable to play. We hope the band will return next year to take part in the celebrations!
In between the first and second quarter, the College recognized three different groups who provide constant care to our students and the Lake Forest College community. These groups include the Lake Forest Police Department, Lake Forest Fire Department, and the College's Department of Public Safety. Joining these departments on the field as a veteran was also the team’s very own Wide Receivers Coach Tom Meyers.
Throughout the game the College's Alpha Phi Sorority was situated at the east end of the field collecting items and donations to send to military personnel overseas. This initiative is a joint partnership between Greek Life and the Forester Football team. Thanks to the generosity of students, faculty, staff members, and fans in attendance, more than 40 care packages will be sent overseas this year. In the last three years, the team has sent more than 150 packages overseas.
“It was a great day to have members of our military and civil service in attendance to celebrate our country, their service, and the game of football. I look forward to this event every year as it is a special way to kick off a new season!” said Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro.
The event brought with it not only celebrations and sincere gratitude to all those who serve and protect our country, but also packed bleachers, and a 38-30 win over Wisconsin Lutheran.
The Foresters will be back in action this Saturday, September 8 as the team hosts North Central College, the seventh-ranked team in the nation, at 1:00 p.m. on Farwell Field.