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NEWS | July 7, 2022

Chicago-area Army Reserve Soldiers support Independence Day parade

By Staff Sgt. Erika Whitaker 85th Support Command

Crowds of onlookers lined the streets of their local community before the Village of Rolling Meadows’ Independence Day parade kicked off, July 4, 2022.

Young and old across the community gathered to celebrate America’s birth and honor those who created and adopted the Declaration of Independence.

“The July Fourth Independence Day is all about freedom, choice and the ability to demonstrate those two things,” said Joe Gallo, mayor of Rolling Meadows.

Freedom and service to the Nation were common themes amongst parade participants.

U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Marcus Guerra, Chaplain Candidate, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, explained how his service honors America’s Founding Fathers.

“It’s a long tradition of the selfless service, especially as an (Army Reserve Soldier), to be that Soldier and civilian at the same time,” said Guerra. “Because that’s how it originally was when the United States military was created.”

Guerra was one of five Soldiers from the 85th USARSC, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to march in the Rolling Meadows Independence Day parade.

The Rolling Meadows parade, now more than 60 years old, honored the Founding Fathers as well as military veterans.

Former Air Force Airman 3rd Class Jerry Inselberger has attended the parade for more than 50 years.

“The parade gets the community together,” said Inselberger. “It represents us. It’s what I was in the military for… freedom of expression. It makes no difference…color, creed, religion, anything. We are here, and we’re all together.”

More than 40 businesses, youth sports teams, auxiliaries and organizations participated in the parade this year, including Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 41-02, a Coast Guard support organization from Palatine, Illinois. An auxiliary member explained why the auxiliary serves.

“We are a volunteer organization that supports the Coast Guard by towing disabled boats, conducting boat inspections and teaching boating classes,” said Steven Guzan, Flotilla Operations Officer. “We serve for boating safety.”

Although boating, barbecues and family gatherings were now commonly associated with the Fourth of July, President John Adams acknowledged in a letter on July 3, 1776, the sacrifice of volunteers who fought for America’s freedom.

“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these United States,” Adams said. “Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory.”