Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.
The Wreath Laying Ceremony will begin at 11am on Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington Streets). The parade will then step off at noon and proceed south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.
Major General Marion Garcia, Commanding General, 200th Military Police Command, United States Army Reserve, will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Maj. Gen. Garcia graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1987 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps. She has served in a wide variety of staff and leadership assignments as well as during multiple deployments including: Rear Battle Plans Officer with the 14th Military Police Brigade during Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm; Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 720th Military Police Battalion during Operation Provide Comfort Somalia, Commander of the 324th Military Police Battalion with a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq; and Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her numerous awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Parachutist Badge and German Armed Forces Efficiency Badge (Bronze).
During the Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade, the City of Chicago honors fallen heroes and Gold Star family members who have lost a loved one in the United States Armed Forces to combat operations or while on active duty. Approved by Congress beginning in 1947, Gold Star Lapel Pins and the Next of Kin Lapel Pins are presented to families not as an award, but as symbols of honor worn by family members in remembrance of their fallen loved ones and their ultimate sacrifice.