Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III kicks off the National Memorial Day Parade with Jim Roberts, president, American Veterans Center, in Washington, D.C., May 25, 2015. The National Memorial Day Parade was launched in 2005 by the American Veterans Center in Washington. Welsh also honored American Veterans by attending a wreath laying ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
For love of country they accepted death.
James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States of America
Military Veteran in the National Memorial Day Parade
As this year's Memorial Day holiday approaches, we pause to reflect on the purpose of this annual tradition. We are all touched, some how, in some way, by a courageous man or woman who offered the ultimate sacrifice for America. There is the father who never returned home from the jungles of Vietnam, a sister who sacrificed herself to save her fellows in arms in the deserts of Iraq, or a grandfather who helped free a village in France on the way to Germany only to lose his life in the process.
It is from this state of mind that we feel grateful, leading up to this Memorial Day, to these fallen heroes for the abundant opportunities their sacrifices have allowed us to enjoy in our country. Beginning in 2004, when we had the great fortune of being involved in the production of the Parade Salute to World War II Veterans for the dedication of the National World War II Memorial on Memorial Day, we have been involved in an increasing number of veteran-related annual events in our nation's capital over Memorial Day Weekend, beginning with the return of the National Memorial Day Parade in 2005 on Constitution Avenue after a six-decade absence; followed by the National Memorial Day Choral Festival in 2008 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and, most recently, the National Memorial Day Concert Series in 2014 to coincide with the D-Day 70 anniversary at various memorials on the National Mall and elsewhere in the capital.
Parade Salute to World War II Veterans - May 31, 2004
We are enormously proud of our association with these events, and feel a sense of excitement for the thousands of marching band participants, singers, wind band performers, and string players, that will contribute to this year's commemorations in Washington. Below is a full listing of the events and participants in this year's Memorial Day Parade commemorations in Washington, D.C.
Featured Events (click to jump to section)
National Memorial Day Choral Festival
Music Celebrations International
in partnership with
The United States Air Force
And The American Veterans Center
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Dr. Craig Jessop, Artistic Director/Conductor
Col. Larry H. Lang, Conductor
Col. Arnald D. Gabriel (USAF, Ret.), Guest Conductor
The ninth-annual National Memorial Day Choral Festival will be one of the most special of its kind. We are enormously pleased to announce that choristers from across the country will join with the United States Air Force Orchestra for a sold-out concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to honor those who have fallen while defending the United States of America. The concert program will include "Call of the Champions," "The Last Full Measure of Devotion," and John Rutter's' masterpiece "Mass for the Children" plus more!
National Memorial Day Festival Concert Featuring Col. Larry H. Lang, Conductor
|The Bakersfield Master Chorale, CA|
Dr. Robert Provencio, director
|Chino Valley High School Choir, AZ|
Marlen Dee Wilkins, director
|Los Altos United Methodist Church Choir, CA|
Daniel Hughes, director
|Montezuma-Cortez High School Choirs, CA|
Marla Sitton, director
|Putnam City North High School Choir, OK|
Stephanie Moring, director
|Texas Children's Choir, TX|
Thomas Gray Hardaway II, director
|The Lutheran Chorale of Colorado, CO|
David Hodel, director
|V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic Concert Choir, NE|
Christopher Storm, director
National Memorial Day Concert Series
Music Celebrations International
in partnership with
The United States Air Force Memorial Foundation
And The American Veterans Center
National World War II Memorial
United States Air Force Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Saturday, May 28-Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Join us on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. over Memorial Day Weekend for a Musical Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Choirs, orchestras, and bands from throughout the United States will perform in tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces and celebrate the many freedoms we enjoy today.
Choir performance at the National World War II Memorial
Schedule & Featured Performers
Saturday, May 28th, 2016 - National World War II Memorial
10:30am Holland American Legion Band, MI
Sunday, May 29th, 2016 - United States Air Force Memorial
Performances at the Air Force Memorial are throughout the day. A free trolley will be provided by Music Celebrations International from key locations to the Air Force Memorial. Trolleys will run approximately every 10 – 15 minutes on a continual loop and will display a sign which reads:
AIR FORCE MEMORIAL FREE TROLLEY SERVICE
Stop #1 – Pentagon City Metro
Stop #2 – The Corner of Army-Navy Drive at South Joyce Street at ART Bus stop 42/87
Stop #3 – Southgate Road Parking Area
Stop #4 – Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel at Orme Street and Columbia Pike
Schedule and Featured Performers
9:45am United States Air Foce Honor Guard Opening Ceremony and Wreath Laying
10:00am Colonia High School Choirs, NJ
10:45am ProMusic Choristers, NC
11:30am Cedaredge High School Choir and Band, CO
1:00pm Parkway Central High School Festival Choir, MO
1:45pm Henderson County High School Wind Ensemble, KY
2:30pm Holland American Legion Band, MI
3:15pm Renaissance Rhythm Chorus, PA
4:00pm Carmel High School Choir and Band, NY
4:45pm Kaua’i All-Island Band, HI
5:30pm Carmel High School Orchestra and Music Department, NY
Monday, May 30th, 2016 - Thomas Jefferson Memorial
10:30am Henderson County High Wind Ensemble, KY
Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 - National World War II Memorial
10:00am Delaware Valley High School and Cheyenne All City Children’s Chorus, WY
National Memorial Day Parade
The American Veterans Center
Historic Constitution Avenue
Monday, May 30, 2016
The National Memorial Day Parade is the nation's keystone event to commemorate veterans who have fought for our liberties in the United States.
Band marching in front of the National Archives Building
The National Memorial Day Parade is the largest Memorial Day event in the nation and this year features Oscar®-nominated actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, actor and Criminal Minds star Joe Mantegna and celebrity chef and Royal Navy veteran Robert Irvine serving as an Honorary Celebrity Marshals with musical performances by country stars Phil Vassar and John Michael Montgomery, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell and Tony Orlando.
We are also humbled and honored to have Col. Buzz Aldrin with us in the National Memorial Day Parade. Before his history-making trip to the moon, Col. Aldrin was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and served as a fighter pilot during the Korean War. He flew 66 combat missions in F-86 sabres - a plane that often was engaged in dogfights during the Korean War. Aldrin was eventually selected as an astronaut, and was chosen for the crew of Apollo 11. Along with Commander Neil Armstrong and command Module Pilot Michael Collins, he journeyed to the moon on July 20, 1969.
Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell
John Michael Montgomery
This year’s Parade will recognize the 75th anniversary of America’s entry into World War II with a salute to World War II veterans as well as the 50th anniversary commemorating the veterans of the Vietnam War. To mark the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm and honor those who served and sacrificed there will be a tribute with hundreds of Gulf War veterans reuniting at the Parade in what will be the largest reunion of veterans since the 1991 welcome home parade for Gulf War veterans along Constitution Avenue.
The Parade will also recognize the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. More than 1,000 active duty military personnel will participate in the Parade.
Stay tuned and informed by following Music Celebrations on Facebook, Twitter (@MusicCelebrate), and Instagram (musiccelebrations). We will be using hashtags #NMDParade and #MemorialDayInDC, and we encourage you to post your own pictures using those as well!
How to Watch the Parade
Attend in Person
The parade is open to the public, free of charge, and a great event for people of all ages. The route is accessible via the Washington, DC metro and is easy to access via National Archives/Penn Quarter/Navy Memorial stop (yellow/green line) as well as the Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stop (orange/blue/silver line).
Watch it live
Catch the parade LIVE on REELZ Channel! REELZ reaches 70 million homes on DIRECTV channel 238, DISH Network channel 299, Verizon FiOS TV channel 233, Time Warner Cable channel 128, AT&T U-verse channels 799/1799HD and cable systems nationwide. Find REELZ in your area by visiting www.reelz.com.
News Channel 8 will broadcast the parade locally to the Washington DC metro area. The channel is Washington’s only 24/7 local cable television news network that provides breaking news, politics, weather, and more for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Watch it anytime on cable or streaming live at home, at work or on your mobile device.
Military.com will be streaming the parade LIVE for viewers around the globe. Military.com was created in 1999 to connect and inform Americans with military affinity, and is currently the largest military and veteran membership organization with 10 million members.
Service members around the world can watch the parade on the American Forces Network. The Network’s mission is to provide “a touch of home” via news, entertainment, and televised programs to Department of Defense overseas communities.
DefenseTV is the first official online US Military HD internet site to bring important and often untold stories from the field to your connected device. Watch shows and news stories straight from our service men and women and catch live events as they unfold around the world.
2016 Marching Bands
Please join us in welcoming all of the featured marching bands in the 2016 National Memorial Day Parade!
Alliance H.S. Marching Band, NE
Appleton East H.S. Patriots, WI
William J. Brennan H.S. Band, TX
Luther Burbank H.S. Mighty Bulldog Band, TX
Carmel H.S. Band, NY
Cedaredge H.S. Marching Band & Combined Choirs, CO
Tom C. Clark H.S. Mighty Cougar Band, TX
Clear Creek Amana H.S. Marching Band, IA
Cole Valley Christian Schools Charger Marching Band and Colorguard, ID
Colonia H.S. Marching Patriots & Choir, NJ
Cresskill H.S. Cougar Marching Band, NJ
Davis County H.S. Marching Band, IA
Delaware Valley Regional H.S. Golden Regiment Marching Band & Choir, NJ
Emerson Jr./Sr. H.S. Cavalier Marching Band, NJ
Enid H.S. Big Blue Band, OK
Glasgow H.S. Scottie Band, KY
Gordon Central H.S. Blue Wave Band, GA
Greeneville H.S. Pride of the Devils Band, TN
Hazleton Area H.S. Marching Cougars, PA
Holly H.S. Band, MI
Jones H.S. Marching Tiger Band, FL
Joplin H.S. Eagle Pride Band, MO
Kauai All-Island Marching Band, HI
Lansing Everett H.S. Marching Band, MI
Lincoln H.S. Lion Pride Band, CA
Loara H.S. Band, CA
Marinette H.S. Marching Marines, WI
Maumelle H.S. Band, AR
Melrose H.S. Marching Band, MA
Monrovia H.S. Bulldog Brigade, IN
Nogales H.S. Band, AZ
Obama Academy Eagles P.E.P. Marching Band, PA
Ocoee H.S. Marching Knights, FL
Omaha South High Magnet School Marching Band, NE
Pennfield H.S. Panther Marching Band, MI
Potosi H.S. Marching Band, MO
Ryan H.S. Raider Band, TX
Southfield H.S. Marching Blue Jays Band, MI
Sullivan H.S. Band, MO
William Howard Taft H.S. Marching Band, IL
Unicoi County H.S. Blue Devil Band, TN
Westwood Regional Jr./Sr. H.S. Marching Band, NJ
White Plains H.S. Blue Brigade, AL
For all of you joining us both in person and online, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy Memorial Day weekend, and see you at the parade!