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The village of Forest Park will host a homecoming celebration on Thursday for U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq, including a rally around 2:30 p.m. on the front grounds of the Park District on Harrison Street near the Veteran’s Memorial.

The soldiers, from the Forest Park-based 318th PAO Army Reserve Unit, are expected to arrive at O’Hare airport early Thursday afternoon. They will then be escorted by Forest Park police in a procession to Forest Park.

The motorcade will parade through Forest Park along Roosevelt Road, Circle Avenue, Madison Street and Desplaines Avenue on its route to the rally at the Park.

Mayor Anthony Calderone is calling on residents to bring their friends and families to greet the troops along the parade route and then at the Park.

“Like so many Americans, we are grateful to our armed forces and anything we can do to show our appreciation, we’ll do,” Calderone said in a statement. “I know this is kind of a last minute notice, but I’m hoping the community can make it on Thursday.”

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