(CBS) – In Auburn Gresham, veterans on Monday staged the first South Side Memorial Day Parade.
It was an effort to pay tribute to Chicago’s African-American veterans.
CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley was there.
In the shadow of the St. Leo Veterans Home, the parade stepped off. It was a full-throated, flag-waving, patriotic tribute, one especially aimed at African-American vets who sometimes feel overlooked.
“Although we have a big city parade, they truly don’t feel a part of it, for whatever reason. And they said we want to do something in our neighborhood,” 17th Ward Ald. David Moore says.
Leading the celebration, as grand marshalls were a pair of World War II veterans: 89-year-old I.L. Brownlow and his 88-year-old brother, Otha. Both are members of a fast disappearing breed.
“I wish we could get more together, if we could find them,” he said.
The parade was also a genuine treat for a neighborhood weary of peace marches after spates of violence.
“It’s a great thing, something for the kids to experience and take a look at what the future could bring for everyone,” resident Kyron Donelson said.
It may have been a small-scale parade and celebration, but it was a big step forward for community pride.