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Hundreds Honor Fallen Vets at Rosehill Cemetery

By Paul Biasco | May 27, 2013 3:08pm
 Hundreds of people lined the parade route through Rosehill Cemetery Monday to honor service members who have lost their lives fighting for the United States.
Memorial Day Parade
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RAVENSWOOD — Hundreds of Chicagoans lined a parade route leading into Rosehill Cemetery to honor military members, both living and dead, on Memorial Day.

For some attendees, the parade and ceremony inside the city's largest cemetery was a yearly event and a chance to remember their relatives.

"I come every year and I think of my brother who served in World War II," said Ravenswood resident Gayle Ivy. "I think that we should honor the dead."

The city's Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society led the annual march through the neighborhood before heading into the flag-lined paths of the cemetery.

Before a wreath-laying ceremony to honor Illinois soldiers who have died this year, Chicago Symphony Orchestra member Sandra Cross sang the National Anthem.

It was a special anthem, as her father James Cross, who served during World War II in the Navy, died this year.

Sandra Cross has been singing the anthem at the ceremony for about 10 years.

"It's always nice to be able to give back and do something for those who have served the country," she said.

She said it was especially emotional for her when the bagpipers played Amazing Grace, as that was a song her father had always wanted played at his funeral.

For Vietnam veteran Frank Simon, Monday's trip to the cemetery was a chance to visit with fellow Vietnam vets and his father's grave for a 16th straight year.

Simon's father, Frank Sr., served in World War II.

"Now thank God the people that are coming back from Afghanistan are getting more respect," Simon said. "When you are walking down Rosehill [Drive] people are cheering and clapping. I just enjoy the camaraderie."