American Valor Quarterly Issue 3 - Summer 2008 - Page 4
The 2008 National Memorial Day Parade
Presented by the American Veterans Center
On May 26, 2008, more than 250,000 spectators lined Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC for the Fourth Annual
National Memorial Day Parade, presented by the American
In a spectacular tribute to those who have served and are
serving, and most importantly those who have given their lives
for our country, the parade featured thousands of participants
that included marching bands, veterans, military vehicles, and
active duty service personnel. It was televised worldwide on
the Pentagon Channel where it could be seen by service members stationed both at home and abroad.
Memorial Day is one of our nation’s most important and solemn holidays. It is not merely a day off work or school, or the
“unofficial start of summer” as many call it. Instead, it is a day
for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to come together
and honor those who have sacrificed in service to our country.
The National Memorial Day Parade was founded by the American Veterans Center in 2005 to serve as such an outlet. Prior
to that year, Washington, DC - the nation’s capital and headquarters of our military - was without a parade on Memorial
Day for nearly 70 years. Additionally, while parades on Memorial Day have been a tradition in small towns and cities around
the country for well over a century, sadly, they are slowly fading away as the true spirit of the holiday becomes lost.
The National Memorial Day Parade is our effort to call attention to the meaning of the day, while providing an opportunity
for families to gather and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
A major theme of this year’s National Memorial Day Parade was
honoring the “citizen-soldiers” of the U.S. Army Reserve on the
100th Anniversary of the Reserve. Marching past the hundreds
of thousands of spectators were platoons of Reservists (above),
the U.S. Army Reserve Band (left), and the parade’s Honorary
Grand Marshal, Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief, Army Reserve and
Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command.
As the 2007 parade focused on the 60th Anniversary of the Air
Force, the 2008 parade was largely devoted to the United States
Army and Army Reserve. The parade featured distinguished
Army veterans and active duty soldiers throughout, including
those who have served from World War II to the present day.
AMERICAN VALOR QUARTERLY - Summer 2008 - 4