The rainbow flag, along with the American flag and those representing the various military service branches, was prominent in an early position in Chicago's 2018 Memorial Day parade on Saturday, May 26.
The American Veterans for Equal Rights ( AVER ) Chicago Chapter and The Lakeside Pride Freedom Marching Band combined to form a veteran and musical contingent which attracted loud appreciation from the crowd all along the route.
AVER has participated in the parade for the past 17 years and the band has joined them for most of those years.
The following day, AVER conducted a remembrance ceremony for Allen Schindler, a sailor who was murdered in 1992 by shipmates for being gay. AVER joins Schindler's family each Memorial Day weekend and Veterans' Day at the gravesite in Steger, IL.
AVER is a national non-profit, chapter-based association of active, reserve and veteran members of the armed services dedicated to full and equal rights and treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The chapter holds open meetings at the Center on Halsted the first Thursday of each month and, during 2018, is presenting quarterly LGBTQ Veteran MeetUps with social time, food, drink and presenters at the Center. Call 773-752-0058 for information.
Photos and text by Jean Albright