Arlington Heights parade honors true meaning of Memorial Day - FOX 32 News Chicago

Arlington Heights parade honors true meaning of Memorial Day

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (FOX 32 News) - Millions of people attended Memorial Day services in Chicago and across the country Monday as America remembers all of the veterans who have fought to defend our freedom.

One of the biggest events taking place Monday was the 95th annual Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade. One veteran named Robert who served from 1963 until 1965 told FOX 32's Darlene hill he has attended the parade for 40 years.

"It is great. People stand up when you are walking by, they salute you and thank you for serving. It sends shivers up your spine," Robert said Monday before the parade.

Robert said while you are enjoying your day off, take time to remember why you have the day off from work.

"I would hope that they remember their people that have given their lives for the country and that they do barbeques and cookouts. But the fact is, you would not be able to do that if it weren't for these gentleman and ladies who gave their lives."

Those who lined up early to attend the parade say it is important to take the time to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Like every Memorial Day in Arlington Heights, there were marching bands, kids waving flags and floats carrying military veterans. However, this year there’s a new twist as well.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) attended the parade and handed out flyers to the vets. That flyer contained a phone number and email the vets can contact if they have experienced any problems with the VA.

"We're trying to get as many stories from veterans as we can. We're trying to do whatever we can to help them out," Kirk said. "When you put on this uniform, that is a statement that you're willing to die for this country. That is the ultimate statement of integrity. To have this low level of integrity behind these guys really dishonors their service."

Some veterans agreed.

"Look at all the benefits they're giving these guys for cooking the books. Isn't that ridiculous? Who's watching the watcher," asked veteran Bill Mitchell.

Following the parade, Arlington Heights held a memorial service.

"So these parades bring tears to my eyes. But we have to take care of these boys who are doing these sorts of things now that have to be done. So whatever we can do to help them, I'm for it," said Veteran Harold Chinick.

FOX 32's Darlene Hill contributed to this report.

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