Since 1870. One of the nations largest Memorial Day parades with over 25,000 marchers. Chicago's Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. The Wreath Laying Ceremony will begin at 11am at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington Streets). The parade will step off at noon and proceed south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street. The City of Chicago will give special recognition to our fallen heroes and their survivors at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony and Memorial Day Parade. Gold Star family members are identified by the Gold Star Lapel Pin and the Next of Kin Lapel Pin that are presented to families 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, the Gold Star Pins are not an award, but symbols of honor worn by family members in remembrance of their fallen loved ones and the ultimate sacrifice they made.