WASHINGTON — A warm sun shined on Monday’s National Memorial Day Parade on Constitution Avenue. Crowds were thick to see the marchers, hear the bands and pay respects to America’s service members.
“I’m an immigrant, so it’s my first Memorial Day here, so I think it’s beautiful, beautiful. I’m really enchanted to see all those people cheering,” said Phillip Almeida, of Framingham, Massachusetts.
Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and history documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick served as parade grand marshals.
The parade, billed as the largest Memorial Day event in the nation, presented an order of march which traces U.S. history from the American Revolution to present day.
Units ranged from the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps in tri-cornered caps, red coats and white breeches, to the flashy blue and gold of Ballou High School’s marching Knights.
Units from all branches of the Armed forces marched in the parade to commemorate America’s war dead.
“It’s just amazing to see everyone in uniform and have the chance to pay tribute because I don’t think we do that enough,” said Mariah Payne visiting from Gilbert, Arizona.
Near the parade, a couple hundred people, including children, conducted their own tribute — walking silently, bearing large portrait pictures of American service members killed in action in World War II.