D.C. area’s best-kept secret: A sunset parade at Iwo Jima

Every Tuesday through the summer, visitors can see Marines twirling and throwing rifles at the Iwo Jima Memorial. (Courtesy Marines.mil)

WASHINGTON – It might be the coolest thing you’ve never heard of in D.C., and it involves dozens of flawlessly performing Marines.

Every Tuesday through the summer, visitors can see Marines twirling and throwing rifles and marching as one when the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corp, “The Commandant’s Own,” performs with the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.

Marching and musical units from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., have paid tribute to those whose “uncommon valor was a common virtue” in a sunset parade at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial since September 1956.

The parade occurs in the shadow of the 32-foot high figures of the memorial, a bronze monument modeled after the famous photo of the Iwo Jima flag-raising.

The statue was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Nov. 10, 1954.

The parades are a one-hour performance and are open to the public free of charge.

There is no public parking available at the memorial grounds the night of the parade. Guests can park at Arlington National Cemetery Visitor’s Center for a small fee and take a shuttle to the memorial grounds before and after the parade.

The sunset parades are conducted 7 p.m. every Tuesday until Aug. 14, except for August 7 and 14, when the parades start at 6:30 p.m.

Below is video from a sunset parade in 2012:

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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