Solemn ceremonies, festive parades return this Memorial Day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice

CHICAGO (CBS) — This Memorial Day marked a return to tradition for many people, after two years of pandemic disruption.

From suburbs to downtown, people attended parades and other ceremonies to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

As CBS 2’s Asal Rezaei reported, there was drumbeat and patriotism as crowds gathered to ponder the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Governor JB Pritzker kicked off the day with a ceremony at Mount Prospect.

“To each of you here who served in uniform, and to the family members who made that service possible – on behalf of the people of Illinois, thank you,” Pritzker said.

In Grant Park, Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Veterans and Gold Star families. She touched on the war in Ukraine, saying it should bring perspective to Americans this Memorial Day.

“We should cherish our freedom all the more – today and every day and after,” Lightfoot said. “The stories of these Americans’ experiences should inspire us all to be of service to our families, our neighbors and our communities.”

After a pandemic hiatus, parades are also back this year – from Naperville to Lakeview, where a 60-year-old tradition of marching through the streets continues.

“We love it,” said Rebecca Limestall. “Favorite event of the year.”

The WOOGMS Parade – this acronym stands for Wellington-Oakdale Old Glory Marching Society – is an event Rebecca and Will Limestall say their children have come to love too. The famous motto of the event is “Everyone Walks, Nobody Looks”.

“That’s the coolest part,” said Will Limestall. “You just show up and walk away. You don’t really have to do much.”

It was a tradition that Limestall says he accidentally became a part of years ago.

“The first time I live in the neighborhood, I happen to be walking down the street and there’s a parade,” he said. “I’m like, wow, that’s cool!”

Communities came together to honor our veterans in unity.

“Absolutely great to be back,” said Will Limestall.

After two years of canceled events and parades, many people are happy to be able to pay their respects in person on a day like this.


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