Herndon High School gets invite to perform in DC National Parade of Heroes

Pride of Herndon Band honors veterans at D-Day 75th Anniversary ceremonies in France in 2019. (Photo Courtesy Dubishar)

The Herndon High School marching band will be performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during Veterans Day weekend.

The band, called “The Pride of Herndon,” is busy practicing to be part of the National Parade of Heroes in D.C. on Saturday.



“It’s such an honor,” said Kathleen Jacoby, band director at Herndon High School.

She said the band will be performing “Amazing Grace” and “The Armed Forces Medley.”

“We want the students to experience it and we want the veterans who are there to know how much we are grateful for their service to our country,” Jacoby said.

The last time the Pride of Herndon had the opportunity to take part in a military performance was in Normandy, France, at the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.

“The seniors this year, they were able to perform at Normandy, but for the rest of us, it’s our first time doing anything this big,” said Anika Natarajan, a 16-year-old sophomore and flute section leader who plays the piccolo. “We’re all really excited.”

Jacoby said the experience will be a major learning opportunity for her students.

“I’m most looking forward to the speeches from the veterans from Korea and Vietnam, and I’m really looking forward to the fact that the kids get to talk to the veterans and have some time at the memorials afterward,” Jacoby said.

Keeping up practice as a band during the coronavirus pandemic was tough, Natarajan said, but she’s looking forward to showing how hard they’ve worked to get to this point.

“It’s kind of scary, but it’s really cool,” Natarajan said. “It seems like a really big opportunity. So yeah, we can’t wait.”

The cost of the band traveling to D.C. for the performance was about $3,000, Jacoby said. She said the money comes from their fundraisers and community members and without that funding, they wouldn’t be able to make these opportunities come true for the students.

“I’m really grateful that the Herndon community continues to support our students and our programs so that we can pay for buses and transportation and travel so that our kids are able to participate,” Jacoby said.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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