CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — A Memorial Day parade that has stepped off for nearly six decades in East Lakeview will be going forward virtually this year.
The Wellington-Oakdale Old Glory Marching Society – or WOOGMS – said Monday’s parade is being held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. It will feature appearances by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Secretary of State Jesse White and the Jesse White Tumblers, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), and others.
The parade will feature a lot of the elements familiar to anyone who has attended the parade in the last 56 years, starting with a Pledge of Allegiance led by neighborhood children. There will also be videos of past parades and people who tune in will be able to share photos and videos via social media of themselves marching.
To mark the first virtual parade in WOOGMS history, organizers have tweaked the well-known motto of “Everybody Marches, Nobody (just) Watches” to Everybody Marches, and Everybody Watches.”
WOOGMS has held Memorial and Labor Day parades since 1963. DNAinfo reported in 2013 that it started in Oakdale Avenue resident Al Weisman’s neighbor gave him a five-foot flagpole – and he decided to hold a march with the flagpole accompanied by local kids.
On that occasion, fewer than 10 children attended – with one girl strumming the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva” on a violin, DNAinfo reported.
But the parade took off and continues on 57 years later.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)