Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Social Distancing Restrictions

US Marines at Memorial Day parade
US Marines at Memorial Day parade in 2012.

Greg Padovani, Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights, announced on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the cancellation of the Arlington Heights Memorial Day parade and ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing restrictions. Padovani announced that even with COVID vaccinations proceeding, our area will likely still be in Phase 4B on Memorial Day 2021.

Illinois-mandated Phase 4B restrictions limit outdoor events to 30 people per 1,000 square feet. Padovani said that even if the streets were closed around Memorial Park in Arlington Heights, the likely attendance at a Memorial Day Ceremony would be far beyond the Phase 4B limits. Most importantly, it is expected that not everyone will be vaccinated by May 31, 2021 – including children age 16 and younger.

“Regardless, we will continue our tradition of holding to the true meaning of Memorial Day — honoring and remembering our nation’s fallen heroes.”

Greg Padovani, Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights Chairman

The annual Memorial Day Parade from Arlington Heights Road and Sigwalt Street, to Dunton Avenue, Euclid Avenue, Chestnut Avenue and ending at Memorial Park at Fremont Street and Chestnut Avenue regularly attracts about 100 marching units involving more than 3,000 participants. Approximately 10,000 spectators annually line the streets along the parade route.

The post-parade Memorial Day remembrance ceremony with guest speakers is one of the largest Memorial Day remembrance events in Chicagoland.

The decision for the Memorial Day events was made by the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights.

Similar to Memorial Day 2020, the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights plans to prerecord a ceremony from village hall in lieu of the traditional outdoor ceremony. The 2021 ceremony will be available to watch online and on the village’s cable channel beginning mid-to-late May.

Arlington Remembers

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The committee continues to distribute “Arlington Remembers” signs that are common at the parade and in storefront windows on Memorial Day. Arlington’s Fallen Heroes are on the flip side with a list of the 58 young men from Arlington Heights who died in service to the nation during the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Shield in Iraq (1 killed in a cargo plane crash in Germany), Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

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