CHICAGO (CBS) – What would Memorial Day be without a parade?
There are many parades happening this Memorial Day in the city and suburbs.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli joined Arlington Heights in their parade and ceremony.
This year marked the 98th Annual Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade.
The parade was followed by a ceremony in Memorial Park where guests honored the 58 villagers who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for their country.
For Arlington Heights Detective Pete Hamrick it was a real honor to help lead the honor guard through the town he helps police.
“It’s an honor to be out here representing our soldiers who lost their lives protecting our freedom,” Hamrick said.
He is a veteran so seeing the response from thousands of villagers is heart warming.
“I love Arlington Heights. Love the community,” Hamrick said.
The men on horses were not riding just for show. They are part of Operation Wild Horse, an equine therapy program meant to create awareness of the problem of suicides among veterans.
And as more and more veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam age, and all too often die, those lining the streets say it becomes more important to pay tribute.
Master Sergeant Bill Peters served 30 years in the Air Force.
He was out Monday paying respect to more than a few friends who showed up to battles from which they would never return.
“Remember all those who didn’t make it,” Peters said. “I had a few friends out there who did not make it.”
Claire Marzolf has been attending the parade for the past 19 years.
She said attending has helped show her the true meaning of sacrifice given by the more than one million Americans who went to war and never came home.
“It is definitely important to honor those who have fallen,” Marzolf said. “It’s important to remember.”
In addition to reading the 58 names of villagers who died fighting for their country, the town also read the names of all the area veterans who have died in the past year.