As we rounded the corner to make the long stretch down near the Washington Monument all we could see was a street lined with a sea of people on both sides. Vibrant colors were matched with blues, reds, and whites certainly overtaking the rest. It’s crazy to think that only one year ago I stood in the exact same spot with only a few subtle differences to notice. The energy and spirit of the National Memorial Day Parade was certainly matched if not surpassed from last year’s experience.
One subtle difference that I noticed this year were 2 fire trucks separating the street with their ladders outstretched high overhead that supported a massive American flag hanging down length wise towards the street. The wind grabbed its material in such a patriotic manner that as we passed under its waving energy I received chills just thinking about its symbolism. I couldn’t think of a better moment to celebrate such a memorable holiday!
My mind started to get antsy because I knew my favorite moment of the whole parade was nearing. We just passed under the flag with a slight angle on the trailer making for a perfect photogenic moment as 3 o’clock struck. All of a sudden the noisy crowd lined streets, enthusiastic camera crew, music laden band players, and many colorful floats stopped in silence. LarBear turned the engine off and for a split second you could hear a pin drop by the nations capitol. Something that probably only happens once a year and I had the privilege to be apart of it.
A second set of chills ran down my neck as they began to play the national anthem. The special forces unit 11 that accompanied us along our route saluted as we stood there frozen in time. My heart went out to all of our service men and women who were or have served our country! I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m sure the feeling was mutual among the majority of the people in attendance. It was fun to see such a spectacular moment. Not to mention we had such a magnificent crew with us! Jacob Walker and his family, Miss Maryland, Special Forces Unit 11, Dan Nakamura and his family, Sue Kennedy and her kids all spread out along the truck seasoning the potato perfectly. There’s no biased judgement when I say our float was by far the best in the parade. Again my gratitude cup is filled by this wonderful event yet again!