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Panetta to be grand marshal of Memorial Day parade

Published: Sunday, May 19, 2013 9:18 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will be grand marshal of this year's Memorial Day parade in Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office says Panetta will also participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the eternal flame in Daley Plaza before the May 25 parade.

The parade will step off at noon and make its way south on State Street.

Emanuel says Chicago is proud to welcome Panetta, whom he called "one of our country's finest statesmen."

Panetta also served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Chicago's Memorial Day parade is one of the largest in the nation.

This year's events will include a reading of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the speech.

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