Elmhurst celebrates 104th Memorial Day Parade May 30
Led by grand marshal Robert Fonzino, a Vietnam War combat veteran as a first lieutenant in the United States Army and former resident of Elmhurst, some 75 entries will march in Elmhurst's 104th annual Memorial Day Parade through downtown Elmhurst on Monday, May 30, stepping off at 9:30 a.m.
The 2022 Parade is presented by the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Elmhurst American Legion THB Post 187, the City of Elmhurst and Elmhurst Park District.
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Elmhurst will again serve as parade marshals, assisted by veterans from Elmhurst University, and also will march carrying their giant U.S. flag.
Ralph P. Pechanio, chairman of the Elmhurst Veterans Commission and a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of Elmhurst, and John R. Quigley, president and CEO of the Elmhurst Chamber, are the parade co-chairs, since 1997 and 2000, respectively.
"Our parade is a tribute to all those men and women who have so bravely put their lives on the line to defend individual freedoms here in this greatest of nations and around the world," Quigley said. "And, after two years of Coronavirus Pandemic-limiting military caravans, it will be special to parade once again through the streets of downtown Elmhurst."
Members of the Elmhurst Chamber will carry the presentation banner.
This year's entries include five color guards, retired military officers from the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Space Force and Coast Guard, members of American Legion THB Post 187 and veterans, costumed Civil War re-enactors and military vehicles.
The lead color guard will feature members of the Elmhurst Police and Fire Departments.
The parade also will feature vehicles representing five fire departments (Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Oak Brook, Villa Park and York Center District), 12 scouting groups, and eight musical entries, along with elected leaders at the federal, state and municipal levels.
A total of six Cub Scout packs, five Boy Scout troops and one Girl Scout unit will carry commemorative war banners.
Elmhurst Mayor Scott Levin and members of the Elmhurst City Council will head a contingent of elected leaders that includes U.S. Representatives Sean Casten (D-6th District) and Marie Newman (D-3rd District), and State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-47th District).
Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 will be represented by the York Community High School Marching Dukes band.
Musical and/or drill groups are the Antioch Brass Quintet, Celebration Brass, Chicago Highlanders Pipes and Drums, Chorus of DuPage, Illinois Army National Guard's 144th Army Band, Patton Academy (Farragut Career Academy) JROTC Drill and Drums Team and West Town Chorus.
The parade will step off at 9:30 a.m. from York Road and Third Street, and concludes with a Military Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Wilder Park. Starting from Third Street, the parade will head south on York Street to Second Street, veer east along Robert Palmer Drive through the underpass and west back to York Street, south on York Street to Church Street, west on Church Street to Prospect Avenue and north on Prospect Avenue past the Veterans Memorial.
The 30th annual Post-Parade Military Ceremony at the Elmhurst Veterans Memorial will feature inspirational speeches by Elmhurst Mayor Scott Levin and others, the laying of wreaths by military personnel and civilians, and a traditional three-round volley.
Patriotic music will be performed by the Antioch Brass Quintet and bagpiper Brian Costello of the Shannon Rovers, and sung by the Chorus of DuPage and Paige Brook.
The names of Elmhurst area veterans who passed away since Veterans Day 2021 will be read aloud in remembrance, from the lists provided by Ahlgrim Funeral Home, Gibbons Funeral Home and Pedersen-Ryberg Mortuary.
American Legion THB Post 187, with assistance from Elmhurst University's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity members, has placed four rows of 65 white crosses adjacent to the Veterans Memorial with the names of deceased Elmhurst veterans who served during World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As has become a traditional, an Always Remember sign commemorating the names of the deceased Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshals has been erected adjacent to the crosses. The sign was manufactured by Vital Signs USA, with a donation by Don Meyers.
The Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1993 through the efforts of former VFW Post 2048, American Legion THB Post 187 and Ralph Pechanio, 1992 President (now Chairman) of the Chamber's board of directors. Their fundraising campaign generated more than $100,000 to build the memorial.
Applications to have a deceased veteran honored at the Veterans Memorial are available at Elmhurst City Hall, 209 N. York St., or by calling (630) 530-3010. Donations to the Veterans Memorial Fund are appreciated.
Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1918, the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a voluntary organization of business and professional men and women who have joined together to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community.
The chamber's mission is to promote an environment that creates success for local businesses and our community.
The chamber also serves the needs of its members through services, programs and events that provide opportunities for networking and referral, business education, development and promotion, governmental representation and community involvement.
Event funding is provided through the City's Explore Elmhurst Community Grant Program.