CHICAGO: Sikh American community members of Chicago participated in the 146th Chicago Memorial Day Parade on May 28 with a float, flags, posters, banners and a walking unit to honor and commemorate Sikhs’ contributions in World Wars I & II.
It was the Sikhs’ fifth year in a row participating in this Chicago parade.
The banners and poster displays on the float featured photos and quotations which highlight the contributions of Sikh soldiers to the success of the Allied Troops during the World Wars.
Sikh Soldiers gallantly fought and sacrificed their lives for the success of the Allies in World Wars I & II. They bravely fought for the allies in France, Belgium, Italy, Israel and many other battle fronts. In the two world wars, 83,005 Sikh soldiers died and 109,045 were wounded while fighting for the Allied forces.
The Chicago parade, started in 1870, is considered one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation. The two hour long parade organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events stepped off at noon and proceeded south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.
There were more than 150 contingents in the parade.
Lt. General Kenneth R. Dahl of the U.S. Army was the parade’s Grand Marshal. The Chicago Memorial Day Parade honored veterans as well as active duty personnel and drew nearly 10,000 spectators. It commemorated the incredible work our soldiers do to protect this country as well as maintain our freedom.
The Chicago-land Sikh Americans also participated in another Memorial Day Parade in Itasca Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The Chicago Sikh community also participated in Memorial Day observance ceremonies at Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial Cemetery Site and at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schaumburg Illinois.
The program included recognition of deceased military members followed by a moment of silence and musical tributes to military personnel and veterans of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.