CHICAGO -- Respect, honor and remembrance were the themes in the Loop today as the city of Chicago paid tribute to its fallen heroes. High school marching bands, drum and bugle corps, veterans associations and 6,000 JROTC members took part in the State Street salute, an annual tradition from Lake to Van Buren.
United States Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl served as the Memorial Day Parade's Grand Marshal. He has served in senior leadership roles in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
"There's nothing wrong with firing up the grill and having a good time," he said. "We are not celebrating the loss, we are celebrating what they have secured on our behalf."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Gold Star Families at the Daley Plaza wreath laying ceremony.
"It's incumbent on all of us, who are not only about to enjoy this summer but our family time, to remember all of those who gave their lives in the name of service," he said.
Among those noted today were Army Specialist Samuel Watts and Army Master Sgt. Wilberto Sabalu Jr., two of the thousands whom have given their lives to the cause of freedom, Americans whose sacrifice can never be repaid, but must surely be respected this holiday.