Fallen Soldier Run, Memorial Day Parade today

15,000 runners are expected to kick off their Memorial weekend by participating in the 10th annual Fallen Soldier Run.

The 10-mile race honors  fallen heroes across the country. It will start at Soldier Field, and finish on the 50 yard line inside the stadium.

Proceeds from the race benefit SALUTE, INC, a local charity whose goal it is to meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veterans and their families.

“Salute picks up where the government can’t help, because there’s so many people who need assistance” said SALUTE organizer, Jackie Beck.

The event will start at 7 a.m., and end at 11:30 a.m with a post-race party.

The Chicago Memorial Day Parade will also take place today. Leon Panetta will be the Grand Marshall. “Chicago is proud to welcome one of our country’s finest statesmen, Leon Panetta, to serve as the Grand Marshal of our Memorial Day Parade,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a press release.  “As Director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, Leon not only worked to protect our freedoms from threats overseas, he expanded our freedoms at home, ending ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ and allowing women to serve in combat roles. It was a privilege to work with him and it will be an honor to have him with us in Chicago on Memorial Day.”

The parade will kick off at at noon and proceed south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.

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