Members of the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard represented the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley at the Memorial Day Parade in Chicago May 26.
The CGMCG has participated in the parade, held in the nation's third-largest city and largest Midwestern city, for more than 10 years, according to Capt. Jennifer Houle, CGMCG commander.
The CGMCG, in their 1860s replica cavalry uniforms and wagon, led the parade down State Street which was lined with parade goers four and five people deep at some points.
The parade made a stop at a reviewing stand which recognized city and military leaders past and present and honored Illinois service members that made the ultimate sacrifice since the American Civil War. Maj. Gen. Charles Whittington Jr., First Army deputy commanding general, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were among those in attendance.
This 2018 version of the parade was Houle's first with the CGMCG, but the meaning of the day was not lost on her.
"I am humbled and honored to support the Chicago Memorial Day Parade," Houle said. "As I looked across the supporters on the sides of the road, I noticed several yellow flowers symbolizing a lost loved one. The day is a day to remember the fallen and never forget their sacrifices."
Staff Sgt. Reginashea Thomas, CGMCG supply sergeant, has supported the parade several times during her time with the CGMCG. The veteran rider remembers past service members that can no longer attend a parade anymore because they made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States.
"It is important to me that we never forget the sacrifice that past men and women have made so that we can have freedoms that we have," Thomas said.
The CGMCG was able to tour the grounds and meet with members of the Chicago Police Mounted Patrol Unit earlier in the week.
According to Houle, is was a great opportunity to network and see how another mounted unit operates and conducts their training.