With All Due Respect
By: Karen Donnelly
A good, old-fashioned, hometown-style parade, complete with plenty of flags, local brass bands and proud soldiers in uniform, can be had as close as Clark Street every Memorial Day.
For over two decades, the Amvets Post 243 has sponsored just such a parade. With less emphasis on elaborate floats and more on patriotism, the parade brings a bit of small-town nostalgia to the middle of the busy city. Post member John Reeves has been organizing the parade for the past 15 years, making arrangements with the various clubs and schools.
On the appointed day (this year falling on May 29), the participants gather at the intersection of Clark, Ashland and Edgewater Avenues. It’s an appropriate meeting place for a Memorial Day parade to start, the site of a granite armed forces monument - one of the few monuments of any kind in Edgewater.
The marchers traditionally include such groups as area school bands, boy and girl scout troops, POW/MIA organizations and veterans’ groups from all over the north side.
After marching through the neighborhood, often with local residents following the marchers, the parade culminates in a ceremony at Rosehill Cemetery. There, the marchers pass through the “Isle of Flags,” a display of dozens of American flags lining the main roadway through Rosehill.
At the cemetery, the group gathers near the edge of a pond where a garden of perennials is planted in honor of the armed forces. The parade ends there with a flag-raising, 21-gun salute and a memorial role call of fallen soldiers. Fallen but not forgotten… with all due respect.