I love a parade. I love American pomp and circumstance. And I love a marching band. So image all of these things combined?!
We went to see the USMC's Drum and Bugle Corp and Silent Drill Platoon perform their tribute to those whose "uncommon valor was common virtue" in a sunset parade at the Iowa Jima Memorial in DC. It's free and performed on Tuesday nights throughout the summer since 1956.
The one-hour ceremony begins with the Drum and Bugle Corp marching onto the field beneath the enormous bronze monument and playing a medley of military standards:
Next, the Silent Drill Platoon quietly marches out to perform their precision drills. Carrying heavy rifles with fixed bayonets, working without any audible cues, the Platoon works through several formations and maneuvers. Bayonets fly through the air! The crowd is silent too ~ we were all in awe. The only sound is the slapping of the Marine's white-gloved hands hitting their rifles as they're twirled around like batons. It's quite amazing!
If you look closely at this next picture you can see two rifles up in the air:
Then the two groups converge together as they play Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever"...
...And then a lone Marine appears way up on the monument (red uniform) and bugles Taps as the setting sun perfectly casts a golden glow on the memorial just before disappearing below the horizon.
Such a beautiful and patriotic tribute to our military.
The perfect summer evening!