Best Of Chicago

Memorial Day Celebrations In Chicago

May 13, 2013 7:00 AM

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(Credit: cityofchicago.org)

(Credit: cityofchicago.org)

By Jodie Jacobs

Memorial Day, the last Monday of May set aside to honor people who died while serving in the United States military forces, falls on May 27 in 2013. However, ceremonies are scheduled throughout the weekend in remembrance and to salute veterans and service members on active duty. No matter whether attending Chicago’s parade, suburban tributes or a race and ceremony fittingly set at Soldier Field, keep a tissue handy because when veterans are thanked or remembered, there are few dry eyes.

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(Credit: cityofchicago.org)

(Credit: cityofchicago.org)

Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade
State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 744-3370
www.cityofchicago.org

Date: May 25, 2013

Chicago’s event is considered among the largest Memorial Day parades in the United States. All of the US armed forces are represented in addition to high school and military bands and city, state and congressional representatives. Thousands of visitors in town for the holiday weekend line the city’s famed State Street. The parade starts at Lake Street after a small, wreath-laying ceremony takes place at Daley Plaza, a block west of State Street at Dearborn and Washington Streets.

Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile
Soldier Field
1410 S. Museum Campus Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(773) 561-3338
www.fleetfeetchicago.com

Date: May 25, 2013

Runners participate in the Memorial Day tradition also known as the SALUTE Race. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and SALUTE, INC., an organization that assists military members, veterans and their families with financial, emotional and physical aid. The day starts with a ceremony outside Soldier Field to present colors, do a minute of silence and hear tributes. Runners step off at 7 a.m. outside the venue and finish inside on stadium’s 50 yard line. A post-race party outside the stadium is open to the public. The stadium, across from the Field Museum, was officially dedicated as Soldier Field during the 1926 Army/Navy game.

Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony
33 S. Arlington Heights Road
Arlington Heights, IL  60004
(847) 392-9113
www.ahpd.org

Date: May 27, 2013

Nearly 75 parade units and more than 4,500 participants make the Arlington Heights parade, sponsored by VFW Post 981, arguably the largest of the Cook County events outside Chicago. Veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War living anywhere are asked to participate with local veterans. The parade goes from Arlington Road and Sigwalt Street to Dunton Avenue, Euclid Avenue and ends with a ceremony in Memorial Park at Chestnut Avenue and Fremont Street. Aside from a ceremony featuring a 200-member choir, the park is worth seeing for its Eternal Flame and the seals of the US military’s six branches.

American Legion Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony
Memorial Park
208 W. Union Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 682-0076
www.americanlegionpost76.org

Date: May 27, 2013

Among Du Page County’s largest Memorial Day events, the parade and ceremony is sponsored by the Wheaton/Carol Stream American Legion Post 76 with the VFW. Crowds from nearby suburbs line the parade route from Memorial Park through downtown Wheaton on Hale Street to Westley Street on to West Street where it crosses Roosevelt Road and becomes Warrenville Road. A ceremony at Wheaton Cemetery, 1209 Warrenville Rd., features wreath-laying and the placement of medallions on crosses.

(Credit: alpost964il.org)

(Credit: alpost964il.org)

Lake Zurich Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony
American Legion Hall
51 Lions Drive
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
(847) 438-9477
www.alpost964il.org

Date: May 27, 2013

Northwest of Chicago, Lake County’s suburb of Lake Zurich has a somber parade and ceremony sponsored by American Legion Post 964. Even though the village is ringed by major commercial roads, the parade and ceremony are quintessential small town. Local scout, Color Guard units, police, fire, other city services and the Lake Zurich High School Band march with veterans. They start at the American Legion Hall, continue west on Main Street to Old Rand Road and turn onto Mohawk Trail for a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial.

Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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