The gates at Soldier Field opened to the general public at 5 p.m. on May 30, 1945, and people started streaming in. The actual number attending was variously estimated between 45,000 and 100,000. A probable attendance figure was 60,000. Either way, it was a huge number for any religious meeting at the time, and was certainly the largest Fundamentalist/ Evangelical event in Chicago since evangelist Billy Sunday's 1918. This rally, however, was in no sense a traditional religious service.
The four-hour program began at 6:30. The first segment lasted about half an hour, with patriotic songs and hymns from massed bands directed by Henry T. O. Otway of the Salvation Army as well as a solo by Pruth McFarlin, billed as “America’s Greatest Negro Tenor.”
The next segment, lasting a little over an hour, was the Memorial Day portion. Color guards marched, American flags were posted around the stadium. The "Star Spangled Banner" and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" were sung. Four hundred nurses dressed in white, forming a cross, marched across the field. There was recognition of the service of military personnel, especially those who had died. Rose Arzoomanian sang. There were prayers for the armed forces. Color guards from several high schools marched, and then "Taps" was played. Finally, there was an appeal from Lt. Robert Evans of the United States Navy to the audience to buy war bonds, using forms that they had been given.
The third segment also lasted about an hour. It included several percussion instruments directed by Merrill Dunlop and songs by the choir. Then, there was a missionary pageant with six speakers representing different parts of the world (China, India, Russia, Mexico, Africa and the United States) talking about the need for Christian workers in that part of the world. Billy Graham was the speaker for the United States. Each speaker was followed by an honor guard presentation.
The final segment was a little less than an hour. It included announcements and comments by Torrey Johnson and an offering for YFC. Then came five testimonies. One was by Gil Dodds, world champion indoor miler. Before his testimony he ran two laps around Soldier Field. Then, evangelist Percy Crawford gave a twelve-minute evangelistic appeal, followed by the singing of two hymns as all lights were being put out, except for the rotating beam of the Gospel Lighthouse in the center of the field. Then, after the crowd sang “Blest Be the Tie that Binds,” and George Wilson said the benediction, the meeting closed.