Chicago area marking Memorial Day with ceremonies, parades

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, May 27, 2024
City of Chicago commemorates Memorial Day at Grant Park
Matt Casey laid a wreath in Grant Park to service men and women who were prisoners of war, including his own father, Donald Casey.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Memorial Day is a day to remember those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Monday morning in Chicago, a wreath-laying ceremony in Grant Park got underway at 11 a.m. That took place at the Major General John Alexander Logan Monument.

Logan recommended the creation of Memorial Day. It was originally known as Decoration Day, and first observed on May 30, 1868.

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There were several Memorial Day parades and ceremonies planned across the Chicago area.

Thousands of people lined the mile and a quarter parade route in Arlington Heights Monday.

The Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights is in its 105th year of hosting one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the area.

"We have 2,000 people marching in our parade today," Greg Padovani, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights. "That includes over 100 active duty service personnel."

Generations of parade-goers have been paying tribute to service men and women at this event for decades.

"The community is fantastic and I come here for all of the veterans for all of the police officers and for the fire department," parade-goer Deanna Pecora.

Kathy Strong from California flew in for the parade. For 38 years, she wore a bracelet that was gifted to her as a child in honor of James Moreland, a soldier missing in Vietnam who she never met.

When his remains were found, she had already met his family and Moreland was buried with the bracelet she'd been wearing since she was 12.

"And I just promised that i wouldn't take it off until he came home and that I wouldn't forget him," Strong said. "He gave his life for his country and I want to make sure he's never forgotten and that he's honored."

This day is a somber day, as people pause to remember. For Gold Star wife Katie Stack from Arlington Heights, it weighs heavy.

Her husband, Lance Corporal James Stack, was killed in Afghanistan back in 2019 when their daughter just over a year old.

"When I became a Gold Star wife, that's when I truly knew," Stack said. "I knew that Memorial Day was to honor the ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice because freedom is not free."

This parade is a tribute in their memory.

St. Charles ceremonies

St. Charles held a flag raising and cemetery ceremony at 6 a.m. at Baker Community Center at 101 S. 2nd St. Boy Scout Troops led flag ceremonies beginning at the South Cemetery (east side of 7th Avenue, north of Madison Avenue), to the North Cemetery (west side of Route 25, north of Johnor Avenue), and concluding at the Union Cemetery (east side of Route 25, north of Stone hedge Road).

A Veterans Community Breakfast Fundraiser took place from 7-9 a.m. at Baker Memorial Church at 307 Cedar Ave. All were invited, and the breakfast will cost $5 per-person. All current and former fire, police, uniformed scouts, emergency services, military members and veterans dined for free.

The St. Charles Memorial Day Parade began at 10 a.m. at 6th and Main streets and continued to Riverside Avenue with a service at 10:45 a.m. at the Freedom Shrine along the river, west of the former St. Charles Police Department at 211 N. Riverside Ave.


The annual ceremony dates back 150 years to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

A Catholic Mass honored all veterans at 8:30 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery at 1001 Villa Street.

A service was held at 9 a.m. to honor those buried at Lakewood Memorial Park located at 30W730 US 20. It was held at the cemetery's Garden of Honor and included a combined color guard. The observance concluded with a rifle salute and the playing of Taps.

Another service, organized by the Elgin Navy Club and the Elgin Marine Corps League, was especially designed to pay tribute to veterans interred at sea. It took at 9:40 a.m. at Elgin Veterans Memorial Park, 274 N. Grove Ave.

At 11 a.m. at Bluff City Cemetery, 945 Bluff City Blvd., the Memorial Day program paid tribute to the 80th anniversary of D-Day and included the laying of organizational wreaths at the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial.

Beverly/Morgan Park


The Beverly Area Planning Association hosted the 46th Ridge Run on Memorial Day. Runners competed to place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their age groups ranging from 6 to 80+ years. The races started at 96th and Longwood.

7:30 a.m. - Youth Mile

8:00 a.m. - 10K Race Start

8:10 a.m. - Youth Mile Start

9:30 a.m. - 5K Race Start

The Memorial Day Parade started at 10:30 a.m. from 110th and Longwood. The first Beverly/Morgan Park Memorial Day Parade was in 1926, making it the oldest community Memorial Day in Chicago.

Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade

The Village of Arlington Heights' 105th Annual Memorial Day Parade kicked off at 9:30 a.m. This annual event is organized by the American Legion and Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights. The parade began at Arlington Heights Road and Sigwalt Street, went west to Sigwalt, turned north on Dunton and turned west on Euclid before going south on Chestnut.

The parade concluded at Memorial Park (Fremont St and Chestnut), where the Memorial Day Ceremony took place at 11 a.m.

Patriotic celebrations are happening all over Chicago and the suburbs.

Park Ridge

The Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade took place at 10 a.m. at Talcott and Cumberland.

The parade's sponsors are local veterans' organizations including American Legion Post 247 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3579.

After the ceremony, there was a ceremony at the American Legion monument at Hodges Park. (141 Vine Ave in Park Ridge).

Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg

A joint Memorial Day Observance took place Monday in both Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg.

The Hoffman Estates portion of the event began at 10 a.m. at the Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial site, located in front of the Hoffman Estates Police Department at 411 W. Higgins Road.

Immediately following the lowering of the flag in Hoffman Estates, the observance moved to Schaumburg for a 10:45 a.m. ceremony at the St. Peter Lutheran Church & School, 202 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg.


The Aurora Memorial Parade began at 10 a.m. at Benton and River streets with 2024 Grand Marshal will be World War II veteran and Aurora resident Richard 'Dick' Miller.


The Village of Hinsdale and Hinsdale American Legion Post 250 will host a Memorial Day procession. The Procession took off at 10 a.m from 3rd Street by Hinsdale Middle School. It headed west to Washington and north on Washington to Memorial Hall and conclude with a ceremony. No political entries or for-profit organizations were allowed in the procession.

Chicago 17th Ward Parade

The 17TH Ward parade ceremony started at 10 a.m. Marchers will wind through Auburn Gresham from 77th Street and Emerald Avenue with a wreath laying ceremony in front of St. Leo's Residence for Veterans.

The community came together in Auburn Gresham to honor veterans and their service on Memorial Day.


The Wheeling Memorial Day Parade started at McHenry Road to Lexington Drive and traveled southeast to Lexington Drive before ending at the Amvets post 700 McHenry Rd.

Crown Point

American Legion Post 20 and the City of Crown Point hosted the annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. The parade began on Joliet Street, went to Main Street and south to Wells Street before ending at the Historic Maplewood Cemetery.

At 11 a.m., American Legion Post 20, Crown Point Mayor Pete Land, Crown Point officials, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the United States Naval Sea Cadets Polar Star Battalion and local elected officials gathered for a brief ceremony at the Historic Maplewood Cemetery.


Monday, Cardinal Blase Cupich celebrated Mass with the Very Rev. Larry Sullivan at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. During the Masses, veterans present were asked to come forward for a special blessing followed by the playing of Taps.

Masses were held at most Catholic Cemeteries in the area, too.


The WOOGMS parade began in 1963 when the late Al Weisman marched around the block near his home with his son, Tony, a few friends, and an American flag. Nurtured by Weisman and his desire for fun, patriotism and community involvement, WOOGMS has grown to a loosely-organized, but easily-recognized troupe of more than 1,000 marchers who come from all over the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond. The annual WOOGMS parade, which takes place on Memorial Day and Labor Day, has been an important staple in the Lakeview neighborhood for six decades and now includes children and grandchildren of the parade's original marchers. The parade kicked off at 11a.m. on the corner of Pine Grove and Wellington Avenues.

Chicago Anti-War Ceremony

Members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans Against the War gathered at 11 a.m. at 24 E. Wacker Drive along the Chicago Riverwalk.

Orland Park

The Village of Orland Park held a remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Orland Park Village Hall at14700 S. Ravinia Avenue. The names of the eight veterans that have been recently added to the Village's granite wall were read aloud during the ceremony. Seating for 200 was provided, and guests were also welcome to bring lawn chairs of their own. Those who chose to attend virtually could view the program on Village's YouTube channel at

Crest Hill

The Crest Hill Memorial Day ceremony took place at 2 p.m. at City Center, 20690 City Center Blvd.