The Windy City celebrated the Columbus Day Holiday with the 60th annual Columbus Day Parade on Monday, October 8, 2012. The theme for this year's parade: 'They Helped Make America Great.'

The city of Chicago parade down Columbus Drive celebrates Christopher Columbus and his historically colossal voyage to the Americas, while saluting Italian-American Heritage.

Captain Jerry Giovannelli, 75th Training Division, Fort Sheridan, Ill., United States Army Reserve, represented the Army by marching with Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn, Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White, Alderman James Balcer and Mayor of Elmhurst, Pete Di Cianni, in front of over two hundred thousand spectators.

The parade was hosted by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCoIA) and the Italian American Association of Chicago. Mr. Dominic Di Frisco, former President of the JCCoIA, welcomed Capt Giovannelli with open arms and announced all the participants on stage as part of the ABC 7 Chicago broadcast.

"I was honored to march in the Columbus Day Parade for the first time this year. There was a lot of gratitude shown by the Italian American Community and all Chicagoans that attended the parade," said Giovannelli.

"I am grateful to be chosen to represent the United States Army, a great organization that leads us through some of the most difficult times in history," continued Giovannelli. "I am humbled; it was a proud and beautiful day."

A shout-out to our Midwestern military friends at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center: Their Great Lakes Navy Band opened up the parade for the Windy City.

The parade was broadcast live on abc7chicago.com and will be aired on TV Sunday, Oct. 13 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Photos: Mr. Anthony L. Taylor, 85th Support Command, USAR