Major General Marion Garcia will serve as Grand Marshal at Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony on Saturday, May 25

May 2, 2019

Christine Carrino, 312.744.0573


The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) are honored to announce the Grand Marshal for Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony on Saturday, May 25. 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 and Major General Marion Garcia, Commanding General, 200th Military Police Command, United States Army Reserve, will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal.

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.


Parade Grand Marshal

Maj. Gen. Marion Garcia, Commanding General, 200th Military Police Command, United States Army Reserve will serve as the 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).


Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award

The late Ron Salazar, a City of Chicago employee from 2000 to 2019 will be honored as the recipient of the Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award for his dedication, patriotism and selfless devotion to Chicago’s citizens, veterans and our nation’s military. Throughout his time with (DCASE), Ron took great pride in working as the event designer for the Memorial Day’s Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade. At the time of his unexpected passing in January, he was hard at work on plans for this year’s ceremony to honor fallen soldiers and Gold Star Families. His love for the city was only matched by his passion to share it with everyone. Ron also had a keen eye for the beauty around him and within the people he encountered along the way


Cadets of the Year Award

The mission of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is to motivate young people to be better citizens. Each year the City of Chicago acknowledges the outstanding contributions of our cadets to our community by honoring JROTC students with the Cadet of the Year Award. Lydia Johnson of Lindblom Math and Science Academy and Stoykof Nunez of Phoenix Military Academy will be honored for their stellar academic records and leadership. Each cadet will receive a scholarship for future academic endeavors awarded by Tom Day and his organization Bugles Across America.


History of Memorial Day in Chicago

Memorial Day has a rich history, beginning shortly after the Civil War ended when Maj. Gen. John A. Logan proclaimed that the 30th day of May be designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of soldiers who died during the conflict. First observed on May 30, 1868as “Decoration Day,” our modern day event has been expanded to honor all of our soldiers and service members who have fallen in the line of duty.

Chicago’s Memorial Day parade is one of the largest in the nation. Participants include area high school marching bands, drum and bugle corps, as well as many veterans’ groups, 6,000 JROTC cadets and current members of our armed forces. Visitors and residents are encouraged to visit the Daley Center and Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) to view the Illinois Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall on Daley Plaza on Saturday, May 25, and The Portrait of a Soldier Exhibit on display from Monday, May 20 to Friday, May 31, in the east lobby of the Daley Center.


Chicago Cultural Center Veterans Exhibition

National Veterans Art Museum Triennial: On War & Survival

May 2–July 29, Chicago Rooms, 2nd Floor

With a focus on the visual, literary, performative and creative practices of veterans, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) Triennial explores a century of war and survival,  and challenges the perception that war is something only those who have served in the military can comprehend. Throughout history, art has provided a means to express the complicated experiences of war, as well as seek justice and reconciliation. The NVAM Triennial draws on this history to connect today’s veteran artists with the history of veteran creative practices and their impact on society over the past century. For more information, visit


The Chicago Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony are presented by the City of Chicago. For more information about the Illinois Gold Star, visit For more information regarding the ceremony and the parade, please visit


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses, providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan, marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience, and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


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