Honored and remembered: Memorial Day ceremonies held around Chicago, nation

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Around the Chicago area and around the nation on Memorial Day, people gathered to honor the lives lost and the sacrifices made for the country.

In south suburban Matteson, American Legion Post 474 held its Annual Day of Remembrance Memorial Day parade in downtown. Participants marched down Main Street to honor the brave heroes who served and sacrificed.

In northwest suburban Arlington Heights, 58 commemorative wreaths were placed in Memorial Park, the usual site of its annual ceremony. The wreaths honor the young men from the community who died in service to the nation from the civil war to the war in Afghanistan. 

And in west suburban Naperville, the traditional parade was scaled down and limited to veterans so as to keep those who haven’t been vaccinated safe.

“A little bit smaller than what we’ve done in the past but it gives us an opportunity to come out and observe Memorial Day and remember those who gave their lives,” parade chairman Tom Parker said.

Among those taking enjoying the smaller commemoration, veteran Bart Enright and his wife Mickey.

“I miss it from the old days,” Bart Enright said. “It’s coming back. It’ll be back.”

“It’s wonderful,” Mickey Enright. “I was up at 6 a.m. like a 2-year-old. It’s great feeling.”

Army veteran Erin Crofford who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“It’s very nice to have things starting to get back to normal and to be able to do things like this and get out and enjoy the nice weather,” Crofford said.

“A lot of folks look at Memorial Day as always just a holiday. Parker said. “It’s the beginning of summer –  picnics, barbecues, all of that. But the true meaning of the day is to honor those who have given their lives in service to the country, while serving in the military.”

Nationally, President Joe Biden continued his first Memorial Day weekend as commander in chief by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and calling on Americans to honor their sacrifices by committing toward bettering the country in a speech afterward.

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