Watch ABC 7s' 2012 Memorial Day Parade broadcast

May 18, 2012 (PRESS RELEASE)

ABC 7 Chicago's Ben Bradley, Theresa Gutierrez, Evelyn Holmes, Sarah Schulte and Phil Schwarz will be part of the festivities as they ride atop the station float.

Watch ABC 7's coverage of the 2012 Chicago Memorial Day Parade on-demand

The Memorial Day Parade will pay tribute to the fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country and freedom. This year's Grand Marshal will be CIA Director David H. Patraeus (U.S. Army Retired) who became the 20th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on September 6, 2011. Patraeus has dedicated his life to public service, retiring from the United States Army after a distinguished 37-year career. Patraeus will participate in the solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony preceding the parade at 11:00 am.

This year's parade will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Taps with a special tribute. In 1862, Oliver Wilcox Norton wrote what he called "the hardest 24 notes to play." The all too familiar cadence of notes first played by Wilcox during the Civil War will be played by a group from Bugles Across America to mark the anniversary.

Included in the day's events will be special recognition of the Illinois Gold Star Families at the Wreath Laying Ceremony at Daley Plaza.

The Memorial Day Parade will be available on-demand at abc7chicago.com.

Christopher Bowen is the executive producer of the parade.

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