The City of Rockford was celebrating Memorial Day with the annual parade and honoring the sacrifices made by members of our armed forces.
As the sun beat down from a cloudless sky, people lined the streets of downtown Rockford to watch the annual Memorial Day parade: 12 marching bands, veterans groups and boy and Girl Scout troop were just some of the organizations that marched proudly through the streets.
"We're having a great time; we absolutely love it," says parade-goer Melissa Tunnell.
But amidst the smiles and the cheers, there was an underlying emotion floating through the streets. On a day that we the honor sacrifices of our nation's brave men and women, so many of our brothers and sisters are still in harms way.
"Our men and women are over there protecting us against harm; it's very patriotic of all of us to come out here and support them," says Peggy Swinney.
"I'm very grateful that I made it back; a lot of my friends didn't. I'm very happy to be able to honor the men and women who aren't here, and we hope this war will end soon, and we hope to have many more years of peace, and have more marching instead of fighting," says veteran Dwayne Patterson.
Memorial Day opens the summer season. It’s a day of parades, backyard barbecues and picnics, but most importantly, it's a day of recognition of our armed forces, a day of reflection and a day to say thank you.