Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush were among those who attended the ceremony. They spoke of the sacrifice made not only by those who serve but by their families.
Rush told the crowd that those who gave their lives for this country did not die in vain. He said they died for the American ideal. Durbin talked about how the rest of us can honor these heroes and give meaning to their deaths.
"We honor them first by never taking for granted the freedoms for which they died," Durbin said.
"They died so America could become the strong democratic republic that stands as a bright star of promise and hope," Rush said.
Last year, President Barack Obama was scheduled to speak at the ceremony but it was cancelled because of heavy rain.