Lieutenant General (Ret.) John Jansen, U.S. Marine Corps to be Keynote Speaker of The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service 

Lieutenant General (Ret.) John Jansen, U.S. Marine Corps to be Keynote Speaker of The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service 

INDIANAPOLIS (May 12, 2022) The 500 Festival today announces that Lieutenant General (Ret.) John Jansen will be the keynote speaker at the American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service. The Memorial Service will be held Thursday, May 26 at 4 p.m. at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public.


“We are truly honored to have Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jansen speak at The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who serve and have served, and the words of Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jansen will help us to remember and reflect upon the selfless men and women who have lost their lives in defense of our country.”


Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jansen is recently retired from the U.S. Marine Corp, most recently serving as Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Programs and Resources within Headquarters, U.S Marine Corps in Washington DC. As the CFO of the Marine Corps, he was responsible for the $48B annual budget, and the 5-year $24B capital plan. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Marine Corps Community Services which includes a chain of department stores and convenience stores with annual sales more than $800M. For more than three decades, Lieutenant General (ret.) Jansen led Marines in first response, high-risk security operations around the globe including nine overseas deployments. He commanded at the squadron, group, and brigade levels and served in four separate combat operations in Iraq & Afghanistan, as well as contingency operations over Bosnia/Herzegovina.


Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jansen is an Indianapolis native, having attended St. Lawrence Grade School and Chatard High School. He graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Kelley School of Business. He is married to Ann Milton Jansen, also of Indianapolis, and has three children and a daughter-in-law.


Joining Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jansen at The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service is Adjutant General, Brigadier General R. Dale Lyles of the Indiana National Guard. As Indiana’s senior military official, General Lyles oversees the thousands of soldiers, airmen, reserve volunteers, and civilians who make up the ranks of the Indiana National guard and all-volunteer Indiana Reserve. A native of Salem, IN, General Lyles has received several honorable medals including the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and many others.


The Memorial Service will include the joint service color guard presentation of colors and performances by the Capital City Chorus and the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band. A wreath-laying ceremony and a horse-drawn caisson will be presented by the Indiana National Guard Headquarters Ceremonial Unit. The caisson carries the remains of the fallen service member, while the caparisoned horse trails behind. Fallen servicemen and women will also be honored with the playing of the “Taps”, a rifle salute, and a flyover.


“Americans hold in their hearts, great respect and gratitude for those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to this great Nation,” said Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jansen. “And as Memorial Day is our national day of remembrance for this sacrifice, our Gold Star Ceremony reminds us that the sacrifice is not just that of an individual, but that of an entire family.”


To learn more about The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service please visit or click here.


The 500 Festival Memorial Service is sponsored by: The American Legion, OneAmerica, Rolls-Royce, 95.5 WFMS, the exclusive radio partner, and WISH-TV, the exclusive statewide broadcast partner. WISH-TV will stream the event live and the day of the event and broadcast it commercial-free on Memorial Day at 10 a.m. ET on WISH-TV with an encore on WNDY-TV23 at 2:00 p.m. ET.


About the 500 Festival | Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.