2019 National Memorial Day Parade

The 2019 National Memorial Day Parade from Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC. A “moving timeline of American history,” the parade honors the service and sacrifice of America’s service members from the Revolution to the present day. The parade’s broadcast is hosted by Natalie Morales and Kyra Phillips, with appearances by Dennis Quaid, Kiefer Sutherland, Joe Mantegna, Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, celebrity chef Robert Irvine, and many more.


[Announcer] From Washington DC on Constitution Avenue, welcome to the National Memorial Day Parade. Please welcome Technical Sargent Matthew Hill from the Air Force Singing Sargent’s, and the 250 voice Memorial Day Festival Chorus under the direction of Cindy H Petty. ♪ Oh beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ For amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ For purple mountain majesties ♪ ♪ Above thy fruited plain ♪ ♪ America, America ♪ ♪ God shed his grace on thee ♪ ♪ And crown thy good with brotherhood ♪ ♪ From sea to shining sea ♪ ♪ America, America ♪ ♪ America ♪ (audience applauding) It’s an annual tradition from Washington DC, the 15th annual National Memorial Day Parade, presented by the American Veterans Center, with grand marshals, the heroes of World War II, commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. With performances by Quaid and James, featuring Dennis Quaid and Jamie James, Kiefer Sutherland, Justin Moore, Maelyn Jarmon, winner of season 16 of “The Voice”, The United States Navy Ceremonial Band, and many more. With special celebrity guests, Tony winning actor Joe Mantegna, celebrity chef and Royal Navy Veteran, Robert Irvine, Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst, and Miss Teen USA, Kaliegh Garris. Plus, special Memorial Day moments from, Jason Aldean, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Jack Black, Reba McEntire, Conan O’Brien, Ray Romano, Chris Stapleton, Channing Tatum, and many more. All in honor of those who have sacrificed for our freedom. It’s coming to you from Constitution Avenue. And now please welcome your hosts Natalie Morales and Kyra Phillips.

And good afternoon, from our nation’s capital here in Washington DC for the 15th annual National Memorial Day parade presented by the American Veteran’s Center, I’m Natalie Morales.

And I’m Kyra Philips, we’re so glad to be here, we’d like to welcome all of you, our viewers, who are joining us today. We’d also like to welcome our service members watching around the world on American Forces Network. From the American Revolution to the current generation that has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s parade will include special tributes to the Americans who have served and sacrificed throughout our country’s history, and to help us with today’s coverage, street side, is a veteran of the British Royal Navy, a good friend of mine and now proud American citizen, celebrity chef Robert Irvine, hey Chef.

Hey good afternoon everybody, how are you doing? I gotta tell you, I am so honored and privileged to be part of this year’s special parade, and I will be on the parade route speaking to lots of special guests, and telling you what’s actually going on on the route as we go.

[Natalie] Looking forward to it Robert.

Thanks so much, time to have a parade.

It is, let’s get it going on, joining us to kick off this year’s parade is acclaimed actor and musician Dennis Quaid.

Hey how are ya?


Great to have you here.

Good to see you, it’s great to be here.

We’re used to seeing you on the big screen, all of a sudden we hear this big, belting voice behind us and Natalie and I, that’s Dennis singing.

Dennis Quaid.

Yeah, what a place to do it too, right here in the middle of Constitution Avenue.

So what’s it like for you to be here with our troopers and our vets?

This is a real honor, it really is and I mean the veterans and the military in the United States do so much for us, protect our freedoms, given their lives, and it’s an honor to be here today to honor them.

What would you like to tell our service members around the world this Memorial Day who may be in harm’s way right now?

Well stay safe number one, and number two you know they say the World War II generation is maybe America’s greatest generation, but if you’re serving in the American military, you’re the greatest of any generation, you’re it.

You know we see you on the big screen, we know you that way, yet you’re singing and you’re songwriting. There’s a new journey here that everybody is discovering about you.

I’m just thinking I’m having fun. I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs since I was 12 because I couldn’t play guitar very well and so I knew I’d never shred it so I started songwriting as a defense and I’ve done it all my life and always had bands and current band that we have, The Sharks, we’ve been together for 20 years. And it’s a blast to do.

Memorial Day I know is special because you lost somebody that you know as well.

Well this is the first time, that I really, the Vietnam War came home to me, it was Victor Minepole Driscoll, my friend, Steve Driscoll, we went to school together all through junior high and high school, and his brother went out and served in the Vietnam War and wound up getting killed over there for his country. And just want to honor him today and with really being one.

Thank you Dennis.

Thank you, of course your performance too, coming up.

You bet.

All right, Dennis is gonna rejoin us in a bit, he’s gonna perform his original song On My Way to Heaven, but let’s head down to the parade route, shall we? (energetic band music)

[Kyra] All right and keeping up right now, it looks like it’s the oldest of the military traditions, full honor funeral, that of the riderless horse. You can see the horse is led behind the caisson wearing an empty saddle with the rider’s boots reversed in the stirrups indicating the warrior that will never ride again.

[Natalie] Such a beautiful moment. Now, the riderless horse leads this parade annually, a reminder of the true meaning of Memorial Day, honoring our fallen heroes. (patriotic band music) Next up is the ceremonial honor guard, consisting of marching platoons from each branch of the armed forces.

[Kyra] Now these platoons are under the order of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region. Today’s marching music is being provided by the United States Navy Ceremonial Band.

I’m Colonel James Tuite, and I command the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard. On behalf of all of the men and women in the United States Army, and the entire Joint Force serving in the National Capital Region, I’d like to welcome you to this year’s National Memorial Day Parade. Every Memorial Day is marked with solemn remembrance. It’s a day to remember all American service members who died while in military service, and to reflect on what their sacrifice means to our country. Let us vow that their sacrifices shall never be forgotten. And for those of us who continue to serve, we honor their legacies by maintaining the eternal vigilance that has kept our country free for 242 years. On this day, we are proud to represent our nation’s military in today’s parade and I ask that you remember all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coastguards men who continue to serve around the world, thank you.

[Kyra] And joining us in this special opening tribute today are platoons from each branch of the armed forces including the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. (people cheering) (drum and fife music)

[Natalie] There is the Army’s famed Old Guard Fife and Drum Corp from the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment. They’re appearing in uniforms patterned after those worn by musicians in General George Washington’s Constitutional Army.

[Kyra] 18th century battlefield musicians wore the reverse colors of their unit, which explains the bright red coats and the blue trim. (“Yankee Doodle”)

[Natalie] The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment Caisson Platoon is charged with the solemn duty of leading funeral processions at Arlington National Cemetery. They join the parade in recognition of the true meaning of the Memorial Day holiday.

[Kyra] Now the soldiers must learn to ride in the erect posture of the solemn military attention and maintain the ceremonial uniform of an old guard soldier. (drum line beat)

[Natalie] Members of the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team are experts in the art of close ordered drill. The routine is highly kinetic with the rifles almost constantly in motion.

[Kyra] The primary mission of the Sailors on the Navy Ceremonial Guard is to perform military funeral ceremonies for fallen shipmates at Arlington National Cemetery. Members devote long hours of training to meet the high level of proficiency that’s required and it takes more than a year of rigorous daily practice to master that routine that your seeing right here today. (drum line and fife beat) (crowd applauding and cheering)

[Natalie] There we go. Dennis Quaid gave a thumbs up to that. Next we–

Yes, amazing.

[Natalie] There ya go, we welcome the United States Park Police Horse Mounted Unit now. The mounted patrol unit was founded in 1934. It’s one of the oldest mounted patrol units in the United States. (muffled background announcer) (crowd cheering) (upbeat music) Thank you again for joining us for the National Memorial Day parade. We are just beginning our coverage.

Let’s go ahead and head down once again to Robert, who’s standing by, Chef.

Thank you, Kyra. I’m very humbled and honored. Right here with me in Colonel Ed Shames DD Veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, one of the most famous, well, band of brothers. Colonel Shames, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, what do you want Americans to remember about World War II generation?

Well, I wan them to remember, wanna remember the people that fought in World War II.

You wanna remember the folks that fought in World War II?


You’re an amazing human being. You get to do a lot of things and I think look, do you use some type of special cream? You look too young.

Well I tell ya, I tell people I was 11 years old when I joined. I was young for my age, so that’s it.

Young for your age well, you are the greatest generation and we thank you for your service. Right back to you, guys.

[Natalie] I want some of that special cream.

[Kyra] I know, me too. (laughing) Sign me up. And now we’re honored to welcome the Grand Marshals of the 15th annual national Memorial Day parade. The hero’s of World War II. June 6th, 2019, marks the anniversary of D-Day, the epic invasion of Normandy.

[Natalie] Yeah, 75 years and among the heroes of World War II with us today, are veterans of D-Day appearing in honor of their fallen comrades 75 years ago. Joining them is long time friend of the parade, actor Joe Mantegna. And Joe has joined the National Memorial Day parade each year, since the very beginning. Thank you so much Joe for always being with us. (car horn honking)

[Kyra] And their participation is made possible with the support from the Gary Sinise Foundation, established under the philanthropic direction of the 40 year advocate for our nations defenders, actor Gary Sinise. That foundation serves our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and all of those in need.

[Natalie] Each of the foundations programs originated from Gary’s personal relationships with our nations service community and wide aray of partners, including the foundations official airline partner and official airline of the parade, American Airlines.

[Kyra] You can hear ’em honking, yeah.

[Natalie] Learn more about the organizations work at garysinisefoundation.org. (car horn honking) (laughing)

Hey, Joe. (laughing) (crowd clapping and cheering) The Frank W. Ballou “Majestic” Marching Knights from Washington D.C. is an award winning band with heart and soul they use as musicianship, hard work, discipline, and compassion to overcome all obstacles.

[Kyra] And they’ve performed in numerous parades all across the country including The Tournament of Roses, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade. The band has proudly appeared in National Memorial Day parade for more than a decade now.

Well thank you and I’m joined here by Joe Mantegna. You know him from the great series, Criminal Minds but I know him as a dear friend of Gary Sinise and I’s. So, you always say, “Well, this is “the specialist day of all time.”

Yes, I think it’s our most important holiday that we celebrate in this country, Memorial Day. And I say that because without Memorial Day, there is no other holiday. You have no Presidents Day, you have no Labor Day, you have no reason to celebrate anything else because the country as we know it just wouldn’t exist. So for me, Memorial Day, it’s starts with that and allows us to have all the other holiday’s we celebrate.

What would you wanna say to all the troops around the world today about anything?

I just wanna say this, I think I could speak for both of us that we and the countless of millions of others in this country and abroad, have had pretty wonderful lives to the sacrifices you men and women make every single day. So today of all days, we take the time to thank you and I feel that we should all feel that way, 365 days out of the year but especially today so, God bless you, be safe, and thank you for what you do.

Well thank you, Joe. Right back to you guys. It’s such a beautiful day out here. Memorial Day weekend, there ya go.

[Natalie] All right, thanks so much, Robert. Well the Gary Sinise Foundation supports our defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families building mortgage free, specially adapted smart homes for severally wounded and providing essential equipment to first responders, lifting the spirits at military bases and hospitals around the country. Their Snowball Express Program is dedicated to serving the children and families of our fallen military hero’s. Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice since September 11, 2001. (band music)

[Kyra] And on the float are some of their rise home recipients, as you see there and foundation ambassadors. American Airlines is the official airline of the Gary Sinise Foundation. Special thank you to Gary Sinise, long time friend in support of National Memorial Day parade. This is only the second time since first serving as Grand Marshal back in 2006 that Gary has not been able to join the parade. Our best wishes to Gar. We hope we will see him back here next year. (upbeat band music)

[Natalie] And we’ll be back for more coverage of the National Memorial Day parade, right after this.

Hey, what’s up guys? Channing Tatum here. Look, for all the active service members and veterans out there, thank you for everything you have done and thank you for everything you are doing. And just know, for all the families that support those service members, you’re not forgotten and you do just as much and just thank you. We’re so grateful for everything that you do.

Hey, hello to the troops out there. This is Ray Romano. I just wanna say thank you and we appreciate everything you do. My father was a war vet, my brother was a New York city police officer. I have nothing but great respect for men and women who protect and serve our country and the people in it.

Hey y’all, it’s Kid Rock here. Just wanna say happy Memorial Day and once again, thank you for your service. Thank you for all you do. God bless you, stay safe, and no that most of us are in your corner.

Hey, I’m Reba McEntire. To all our veterans and our currently active military folks, happy Memorial Day. Thank you so much for all you do for us. We love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (upbeat patriotic band music)

[Narrator] Coming up, the parade begins a moving timeline of American military history. And later, musical performances from Dennis Quaid, Kiefer Sutherland, and Justin Moore.

[Male Announcer] The American soldier has a special place in our hearts. The American soldier is why they have (mumbling). God bless the American soldier for his courage, time, and sacrifice. Bless the USA.

[Female Announcer] The Loretto High School band is a recognized music program of 11 high schools in Tennessee, under the direction of Darrell Boston. The Loretto High School band provides an (mumbling) for what students do best musically, academically, and socially. Musicianship, attitude, attendance, punctuality, (mumbling) with excellence. (“America the Beautiful”) (drum line beat) (patriotic band music) (drum line beat) (crowd cheering and applause) (crowd chatter)

[Female Announcer] Are you having a good time out there? (crowd cheering)

Do we have any Marines? (scattered yelling)

How about Navy? (scattered yelling)

Any Army? (loud cheering)

How about Coast Guard? (scattered cheering)

How about Air Force? (loud cheering)

Well they’re not a fly by night organization, that’s for sure.

[Male Announcer] So here a little trivia question for you. What famous comedy actor had (mumbles)?

[Female Announcer] I bet it was Jimmy Stewart.

[Male Announcer] Oh my gosh, you nailed it.

[Female Announcer] ‘Cause he was Jump Out Jimmy Stewart. Right, am I right about that folks?

[Male Announcer] I didn’t give you that answer either.

Memorial Day parade, presented by the American Veterans Center. You can visit the American Veterans Center, by the way, on Facebook, Twitter to stay up to date throughout the year. We’re so glad to be here with you.

Yes we are, on a beautiful day here in our nations capital. Today’s parade is organized as a moving timeline of American military history, honoring our fallen heroes from our beginnings all the way through the current generation serving us today. Let’s head back down right now to Constitution Avenue. (patriotic band music) Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For more than a hundred years, Oshkosh has designed, tested, and manufactured highly protected military vehicles and technologies to support every mission. Here is the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle or JLTV. It provides the Army and Marine Corp with the very best combination in protection and extreme mobility. (patriotic band music) And we’re honored now to introduce our next float featuring family members who have lost loved ones that served in the Armed Forces.

[Kyra] And this is an organization, I’m an honorary board member, Natalie. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. A leading national non-profit, offering compassion and care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or hers service.

[Natalie] And you see him right there, taking a break from host duties in the parade to join the TAPS float is our Chef, Robert Irvine. He is a veteran of the British Royal Navy and a tireless supporter of our military and first responders. We’d like to thank him and the Robert Irvine Foundation for providing funding for transportation and also lunch for many of the active duty service members who are her with us today.

[Kyra] We’ll also see Bonnie Carroll, Natalie, right next to Chef Irvine. She created TAPS almost 20 years ago when her husband was killed in a military plane crash and what she has created for the families of those who’ve lost their life while serving our country, is pretty remarkable. She even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

[Natalie] What an incredible woman and what she has done for our country. Now the award winning Hoboken High School. That’s where I used to be from. Rockin’ Red Wings from the state of New Jersey, makin’ their second appearance here in the National Memorial Day parade. This year–

They’re playin’ for Natalie.

This years performance,

Yes they are

[Kyra] Features when Johnny Comes Marchin’ Home. When Natalie comes marchin’ home.


That was actually written in 1863, by the way, in the midst of our country’s Civil War.

[Natalie] Go Hoboken. (crowd cheering and applauding) (band music) And now we begin the moving timeline of our parade as we salute the heroes of the American Revolution in a segment presented by Veterans United Home Loans. (military marching tune)

[Male Narrator] Independence for more than 230 years. (military marching tune) (“Yankee Doodle”) Generation after generation of Americans have been inspired by the story of George Washington’s leadership through the war for independence, for more than 230 years. (military marching tune)

[Kyra] And next is a large replica of the… Actually no, no, no. This yes, actually this is the Fife and Drum Corp by York Town. Formed by the county of York for the 1976 American Bicentennial Celebration. Members, as you can see, are dressed in the period attire.

[Natalie] Looks amazing. Today they continue their mission to recruit youth between the age of 10 and 18 and they train them 18th century field music. (band music)

[Kyra] Natalie.

[Natalie] Next is a large replica of the original American flag that Betsy Ross was said to have created in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. It is being carried by Brooklyn college students. Legend has it that several members from the Continental Congress, including George Washington, asked Betsy Ross to sew the first American flag back in 1776. (“Yankee Doodle”) The Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and our first president, General George Washington traveled 16 miles up the road from his home at Mount Vernon to be here with us today. Hello Mr. President.

[Kyra] What a nice guy to stop by and grant us with his presence. Have you visited his home, by the way, up there in Mount Vernon.

[Natalie] I did many years ago. It was a beautiful place.

[Kyra] Pretty amazing museum, as well. (“Yankee Doodle”)

[Natalie] Our next float is sponsored by the Military Order of The Purple Heart and the Wounded Paw Project. Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the United States today. Originally established by General George Washington in 1782. Today, it is awarded to service members wounded or killed in war.

[Kyra] And sharing the float with Purple Heart is the Wounded Paw Project, as Natalie mentioned. Which works to take dogs from high kill animal shelters, trains them extensively for months, and then pairs them with veterans who have traumatic brain damage, PTS, or are combat wounded.

[Natalie] Love the work that they do and you see there, joining the float is Hall of Fame football coach, Lou Holtz.

[Kyra] All right.

[Natalie] Go Mr. Holtz.

[Kyra] He’s lookin’ good. (patriotic band music) And the sons of the American Revolution you can see there. One of the oldest patriotic organizations in the United States. Each of it’s more than 37,000 members is a descendant of at least one patriot of the American Revolution.

[Natalie] The SARS’s activities commemorate the people and events of the American Revolution and provide education on the principles on which the United States was founded. And from Poyen, Arkansas, multi-platinum selling country singer Justin Moore is here to perform his single, The Ones That Didn’t Make it Back Home, from his album Late Nights and Long Necks. It’s due July 26th.

Yes and we heard him practicing. Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Moore. (country music tune) ♪ Tours up, middle of June ♪ ♪ She was plannin’ a welcome home barbecue ♪ ♪ Green bean casserole, grandma’s recipe ♪ ♪ There was a knock on the door ’round two o’clock ♪ ♪ Two uniforms and her heart stopped ♪ ♪ Yellow ribbon ’round her oak tree ♪ ♪ Blowin’ in the breeze ♪ ♪ Here’s to the ones that didn’t make it back home ♪ ♪ The ones we ain’t seen in so long ♪ ♪ The hold up a beer ones, wish they were here ones ♪ ♪ The not forgotten but gone ♪ ♪ They’re in a better place up there ♪ ♪ But they sure left a hole down here ♪ ♪ We just go on livin’ and go on missin’ the ones ♪ ♪ The ones that didn’t make it back home ♪ ♪ The whole town shut down, the whole town showed up ♪ ♪ Sang Amazing Grace, watched a slideshow of ♪ ♪ His 22 years ♪ ♪ There were laughs and there were tears ♪ ♪ And that preacher talked about sacrifice ♪ ♪ And traffic stopped for them Cadillac lights ♪ ♪ Johnny sold beer half price that night ♪ ♪ And everybody raised ’em high, singin’ ♪ ♪ Here’s to the ones that didn’t make it back home ♪ ♪ The ones we ain’t seen in so long ♪ ♪ The hold up a beer ones, wish they were here ones ♪ ♪ The not forgotten but gone ♪ ♪ They’re in a better place up there ♪ ♪ But they sure left a hole down here ♪ ♪ We just go on livin’ (crowd applauding) ♪ (patriotic tune)

[Male Narrator] Coming up, the parade remembers the fallen from the war of 1812 and the American Civil War. Plus, a musical performance from Dennis Quaid. (patriotic band music)

[Male Announcer] The parade continues as we remember the war of 1812. And now, let’s go to the USO show troop. (crowd cheering and applauding) (“The Stars And Stripes Forever”)

[Female Announcer] This is our tribute to all branches of the military. Please rise and prepare to recognize. The United States Army, during World War II, 4,057,101 soldiers served valiantly in the field of battle. To all the men and woman in the United States Army, our gratitude and our salute. (crowd cheering) ♪ First to fight for the right, ♪ ♪ And to build the Nation’s might, ♪ ♪ And The Army Goes Rolling Along ♪ ♪ Proud of all we have done, ♪ ♪ Fighting till the battle’s won, ♪ ♪ And the Army Goes Rolling Along. ♪ ♪ Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey! ♪ ♪ The Army’s on its way. ♪ ♪ Count off the cadence loud and strong ♪ ♪ Two, three, four, five ♪ ♪ Two, three, four, five ♪ ♪ For where e’er we go, ♪ ♪ You will always know ♪ ♪ That The Army Goes Rolling Along. ♪

[Female Announcer] The United States Navy during World War II, 4,183,466 men and woman answer the wolves to protect our country. To every member of the Navy, on every battle front, we salute you. ♪ Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh ♪ ♪ Farewell to foreign shores, ♪ ♪ We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay ♪ ♪ Through our last night ashore, ♪ ♪ Drink to the foam ♪ ♪ Until we meet once more, ♪ ♪ Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home ♪

[Female Announcer] The United States Coast Guard. During the Korean War, 44,143 members of the Coast Guard fought bravely for our freedoms and preservation. Today, generations of Coast Guard veterans, our gratitude and our salute. ♪ We’re always ready for the call ♪ ♪ We place our trust in thee ♪ ♪ Through howling gale and– ♪

The National Memorial Day parade in Washington D.C. I’m Kyra Phillips.

And I’m Natalie Morales. You couldn’t ask for a more picture perfect day here in our nations capitol and the parade continues now as we remember the War of 1812. (patriotic music)

[Male Narrator] After watching the Americans withstand the deadly British siege of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem, Defense of Fort McHenry. Today it is better known as the Star Spangled Banner.

[Kyra] And the USS Constitution, America’s ship of state, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. The worlds oldest commissioned warship afloat. Constitution embodies 220 years of maritime heritage and unwavering service to our country.

[Natalie] And joining today’s parade is an honor guard of active duty sailors from The Constitution. (patriotic band music)

[Kyra] And leading the Star Spangled Banner down the parade route is General Andrew Jackson. Long before becoming president, General Jackson won a decisive victory at the Battle of New Orleans, driving the British from Louisiana. (patriotic band music)

[Natalie] He is a charmer that General Jackson. He’s accompanied there by a 50-foot long replica Star Spangled Banner, brought to you by Veterans United Home Loans. Just after dawn on September 14th, 1814, the attacking British saw the American flag still flying high over Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

[Kyra] And the sight of the flag signaled that their attack had failed and the Americans had won the battle. (crowd cheering)

[Natalie] Indian River High School is located in Sussex County, Delaware. The marching band is comprised of students in grades nine through 12. Throughout the year the band performs at football games, local parades, and various festivals in Delaware.

[Kyra] And most recently, the band performed on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Today they are performing America. (“America”) (crowd applauding and cheering)

[Male Narrator] The National Memorial Day parade honors those who sacrificed in the Civil War. Brother fought brother in the bloodiest war in US history with more than 600-thousand Americans, north and south, dying in battle.

[Natalie] “With malice toward none, with charity for all, “let it strive on to finish the work we are in “to bind up the nations wounds.”

[Kyra] These words were so eloquently spoken by Abraham Lincoln during his second inaugural address and demonstrate his devotion toward healing our shattered nation. (patriotic band music)

[Natalie] So nice to have Abraham Lincoln with us, as well this parade.

Isn’t it great.

[Natalie] Let’s head down to see Chef Robert again.

Hey guys, I am here with David Walker of the Coalition to Salute American Heroes, along with Lauren Warner. David, since 2004 the coalition has supported our nations combat wounded veterans. What does that support actually look like?

That support looks like 60-million dollars to over 40-thousand combat wounded veterans and their families in emergency financial aid support and other direct support.

So, what is this check? What are we doing here?

We are presenting 10-thousand dollars to Fields for Valors. A young combat wounded veteran by the name of Peter Scott, started a farm and what he does, well I’ll let them tell the story. With us we have, however Lauren and Antoinette who manage the farm and they can tell you the rest of the story.

[Robert] Welcome guys. Lauren, what does this gift mean to you?

So, the money given to us by Coalition basically means that we get to feed a ton more veterans and their families. All of the money means that more than 30 families are going to get weekly supplies of food, honey, jams, preserves, you name it and recipes so that they know what they’re doing with the food.

[Robert] Well, thank you very much all of you that great gift. Right back to you guys. Natalie, I want you to sing something.

[Natalie] Oh, no you do not want that, Robert. Trust me on that but thank you for that. Coachella Valley High School is next. They’re composed of students from the most eastern part of southern California.

[Kyra] And they travel great lengths every year to perform at great venues including The Rose Bowl, the Las Angeles Coliseum, various county fairs, and parades throughout southern California. Coachella Valley is making it’s first appearance on the east coast with this years National Memorial Day parade, so welcome. (upbeat band music) And here is Brian Joyner, Chief of Staff for the National Mall and Memorial Parks. (upbeat band music) Our next float is presented by the National Parks Service with more than 100 years actually, of caring for America’s most treasured places.

[Natalie] What a beautiful float and riding on the float, we’re honored to welcome three recipients of our Nations highest military award, the Medal of Honor. Joining are Sargent 1st Class, Melvin Morris and Lieutenant Michael Thornton who received the Medal of Honor for valor in Vietnam. Thank you for your service gentleman. Also, Staff Sargent Ronald Shurer, an Army Special Forces medic, honored for valor in Afghanistan. More than 3,400 men have received the Medal of Honor throughout our history and today 70 survivors. Thank you gentleman for your valor and your sacrifice.

Incredible. And our next performer, Dennis Quaid. Not only an accomplished actor but also a singer and song writer with hundreds of thousands of miles under his belt as a touring musician with Jamie James.

James is a legendary guitarist. He was one of the founding members of the popular band The King Bees in the early 80s. Quaid and James specialize in Rock ‘n’ Roll and County Soul and today they’re performing an original, On My Way To Heaven. (country guitar tune) ♪ My life may not be roses ♪ ♪ But still I’m gonna be all right ♪ ♪ Long as I got my savior by my side ♪ ♪ He freed me from these heavy chains ♪ ♪ That had bound my broken heart ♪ ♪ Picked me up and gave me a brand new start ♪ ♪ Now I’m on my way to heaven ♪ ♪ On my way to heaven ♪ ♪ On my way to heaven ♪ ♪ So I can’t be stayin’ long ♪ ♪ I was serving time in prison ♪ ♪ In a solitary cell ♪ ♪ Sentenced by a judge and jury of myself ♪ ♪ Then He blessed me, forgave me ♪ ♪ Touched me with His love ♪ ♪ Shined down all His glory from above ♪ ♪ Now I’m on my way to Heaven ♪ ♪ On my way to Heaven ♪ ♪ On my way to Heaven ♪ ♪ So I can’t be stayin’ long ♪ (crowd applause)

[Natalie] Stayed tuned for more of the National Memorial Day parade from Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. (patriotic band music)

[Male Narrator] Next up, the parade moves into the 20th century and performances by Kiefer Sutherland and the winner of the hit show, The Voice. (“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters) (“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” by The Andrews Sisters) (“Bei Mir Bistu Sheyn” by The Andrews Sisters) (“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters) (crowd cheering and applause)

[Male Announcer] The 2019 National Memorial Day parade is brougt to you by Veterans United Home Loans, honored to serve those who serve. And, Stars and Stripes, the original partner of the National Memorial Day parade. The National Memorial Day parade was founded and organized by the American Veterans Center. To learn how you can support the parade, visit americanveteranscenter.org (crowd applauding) We’d also like to thank the American Veterans Center for organizing the parade today. The AVC created the parade in 2005, after our nations capitol had been without a parade on Memorial Day for more than 60 years. To join the AVCs mission, visit americanveteranscenter.org.

[Female Announcer] Now, our next float routine will be coming. It’s from The Lions Clubs of Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. This is your 11th year participating in our parade.

[Kyra] And welcome back. We’d like to thank the American Veterans Center for organizing today’s parade. The AVC created the parade in 2005 and after our nations capitol had been without a parade on Memorial Day for more than 60 years. To join the AVCs mission, you can visit americanveteranscenter.org and we’re so glad you’re streamin’ the show, as well.

[Natalie] Absolutely and our next float now comes to us from The Lions Clubs of Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. This is their 11th year participating in our parade. Lions Club International is the worlds largest service club organization with 1.4-million members in over 200 countries or geographic area. Lions Club International celebrating more than 100 years of service. Representing Lions Clubs International on the float is Lions past International President, Clem Kusiak.

[Kyra] And riding on the float is also Mrs. USA 2019, Cheslie Kryst and also Mrs. Teen USA, Kaliegh Garris. (patriotic band music) And the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, Rough Riders, was formed in 1978 to provide a living memorial to formal later President, Theodore Roosevelt and his gallant volunteer regiment, the 1,200 original Rough Riders, camped in Tampa prior to leaving for the campaign in Cuba during the Spanish American War in 1898.

[Natalie] The modern day Rough Riders are responsible for locating and preserving Rough Rider grave sites that were not marked or improperly marked and visiting Rough Rider grave sites to pay honor and tribute to those brave individuals. (patriotic band music) The Conestoga High School Marching Band from Berwyn, Pennsylvania is proud to be marching in this years parade. They’re made up of students in grades nine through 12. They perform at football games, marching band shows, and parades thoughout the year.

[Kyra] And the Marching Pioneers would like to thank all the supporters who have contributed to their performance in today’s parade, thanks to you. (upbeat band music) (drum line beat)

The national moment of remembrance, established by congress, asks all Americans, wherever they are at this time to pause in an act of national unity.

And right now, the National Memorial Day parade will participate in that moment, coming to a complete stop while TAPS will be played in honor of all of those who have sacrificed their lives. Wherever you are, we ask that you please join us in this moment. (crowd cheering) (“TAPS”) (“Amazing Grace”)

TAPS was played by Musician 1st Class Ben Houser of the US Navy Ceremonial Band.

Gorgeous and singing American Grace was Musician 1st Class Dennys Moura of the Navy Band Sea Chanters.

And while we honor those who have served today, we must remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, paying tribute to those that we have lost.

Throughout today’s parade we will spotlight the stories of several service members who lost their lives in service to our country in a series we are calling, Saluting the Fallen.

So, my sons name is Montarius Trey Daniel. Very lively young man, very smart, very sharp. Kinda like the class clown. He took a liking to the Army. He’d met some great buddies. He had a huge impact. Trey took his life June of 2015, two days before his 20th birthday, actually. It was probably the most difficult summer I’ve ever had. I am still amazed by the impact that he had. He could have a funeral service in Camp Bahrain and 400 people were there. His funeral service in Georgia, I didn’t even get a program because there was so many people there. I decided about a month ago, just to celebrate his life. Freedom isn’t free. Someone has to pay the price. (upbeat band music)

[Male Narrator] Next up from Washington D.C., the National Memorial Day parade salutes America’s greatest generation. (upbeat band music) (car horn honking) (crowd cheering and applauding) (whistling) (crowd clapping)

[Female Announcer] Been havin’ a good time so far? (crowd cheering and applauding) Wait a minute, I think that was the Air Force. Do we have any Marines havin’ a good time? (crowd cheering)

I’m Jim Roberts, President of the American Veterans Center, sponsor of the annual National Memorial Day parade held here in our nations capitol. I invite all of you watching to become full participants as we honor those who have laid down their lives in defense of our country from Valley Forge to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and more, to honor our veterans and those who serve in uniform. I hope you will take a few moments to honor those, who in Lincolns words, “Died so our nation might live.” Thanks for watching and have a wonderful Memorial Day. (somber horn tune)

And welcome back to our coverage from Washington D.C. and be sure to visit the American Veterans Center on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date throughout the year. I’m Natalie Morales.

And I’m Kyra Phillips. Thanks so much for joining us for this special musical performance now, straight from her victory on the 16th and most recent season of NBCs hit show, The Voice. Please welcome, Maelyn Jarmon. (upbeat music) ♪ Stay, sorry I couldn’t stay but don’t worry ♪ ♪ My mind, it won’t change ♪ ♪ I’ll always keep a piece of you with me ♪ ♪ And I know you hate the distance ♪ ♪ But I’ll keep, I’ll keep my promises safe ♪ ♪ Believe me when I say, I’ll never let our love fade ♪ ♪ So don’t count your lucky stars ♪ ♪ Just count on my beating heart ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I will wait, yeah ♪ ♪ I will wait, yeah ♪ ♪ Don’t say you’re giving up ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m holding on to us ♪ ♪ And I will wait, yeah ♪ ♪ I will wait for you ♪ ♪ Space ♪ ♪ I’m trying hard to fill this empty room ♪ ♪ But I can create ♪ ♪ A home away from home, away from you ♪ ♪ Don’t be scared of the distance ♪ ♪ My hearts not in a different place ♪ ♪ Believe me when I say, I’m always gonna feel this way ♪ ♪ So don’t count your lucky stars ♪ ♪ Just count on my beating heart ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I will wait, yeah ♪ ♪ I will wait, yeah ♪ ♪ Don’t say I’m giving up ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m holding on to us ♪ ♪ And I will wait, yeah ♪ ♪ I will wait for you, you, you, oh. ♪ Thank you for your service. Thank you so much, we’re very grateful to all of our service men and women.

What a voice indeed.


And thank you Maelyn. What a gorgeous performance.

You’re a Voice fan, you’re NBC.


We’re an ABC family so we watch American Idol so I love both shows.

They’re equally all talented.

Yes, they are, it’s incredible. Well the National Memorial Day parade honors those who served in the great war, World War I.

[Male Narrator] More than 116-thousand Americans died in service during the first World War. In what all hoped would be the war to end all wars. However lingering resentments lead to the rise of Nazi Germany and eventually World War II.

[Kyra] And today marks the second time in which an Australian Army Contingent marches in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day. Approximately 50 Australian Army personnel, ranging in rank from Corporal to Brigadier General, are all participating today.

[Natalie] And the Fourth of July this year marks the 101st anniversary of Australian and American soldiers first fighting together in northwestern France during the first World War. Sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen and women are currently serving together in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria as well as working closely together in numerous locations around the globe. Well let’s check in once again with Robert.

Thank you. It’s truly an honor to be joined by three of America’s greatest heroes. Recipients of the military’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. Joining me are Lieutenant Michael Thornton, and Sargent 1st Class Melvis Morris, decorated for valor in Vietnam, as well as Staff Sargent Ron Shurer, decorated for valor in Afghanistan. Welcome gentlemen. First, Lieutenant Thornton, for a Medal of Honor recipient, Memorial Day must be well, have an even deeper meaning.

It’s a great, great day for America because what this great nation is, is not free, it’s written in blood. And if we go up to Arlington National Cemetery, some of the other cemeteries we seek out all around the world and of course, being the 75th anniversary of Normandy, that is something else to see, too. But it’s great American’s as you, even though you weren’t American off the bat but you came to this country and you’ve done a great job for all the military. Which you support us and Gary Sinise and Joe, great, great mentors for all of us to follow.

Well, thank you.

But we all feel that we don’t deserve the medal but we where it in the honor of the million and a half.

Melvin, I can call you Melvin if you don’t mind ’cause I know you. What does it mean representing your comrades who have served in Vietnam?

What it means to me is that America’s finally wakin’ up, givin’ just due recognition, that men and women fought hard in Vietnam, as hard as any war that we’ve had. And it didn’t get the recognition from the beginning. So when we have Memorial Day, they get they just cause, they get they just due. It means a lot.

Staff Sargent Shurer. You’re representing the brave men and women, Afghanistan, Iraq, what do you wanna say?

Oh, I’m definitely very proud to be here, happily represent all the millions who have served since 9/11 and just to represent that volunteering spirit that the American soldiers, and sailors, and airmen, and Marines all have. It’s a absolute humbling experience.

Thank you to all of you for your service. Right back to you guys. Amazing, amazing heroes. (patriotic band music)

[Male Narrator] The National Memorial Day parade honors those who served in World War II. 16-million American’s served and more than 400-thousand died, making it truly the defining moment of the 20th century. (upbeat band music)

On April the 18th, 1942, 80 American’s on 16 B-25 bombers launched from the deck of the USS Hornet. The famed Doolittle Raid was the first raid on mainland Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor four months earlier. The raid caused a sensation and made instant legends of Jimmy Doolittle and his Raiders. 80 men took part in the Doolittle Raid, their last survivor, Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Bridget E. Cole passed away on April 9th, 2019 at the age of 103. The last Doolittle Raider, Colonel Cole served as a Grand Marshal of this parade in 2014 and had planned on returning once more this year. May he rest in peace and may we never forget the incredible bravery of the 80 men of the Doolittle Raiders.

[Kyra] And thank you, Robert. Well, Colonel Cole will definitely be missed. Now, leading our tribute, the World War II generation, we are proud to welcome honorary Grand Marshals of today’s parade, veterans of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American pilots in US military history.

[Natalie] On June 2nd, 1943, the Tuskegee Airmen flew their first combat mission of the war. They would go on to amass one of the most distinguished records in the US Army Air Forces and have since become military legends and cultural icons.

[Kyra] And next up, the Ramsey High School “Big Blue” Marching Band from New Jersey, competing in the fall as a group for open band with the Tournament of Bands Association.

[Natalie] The band has been a championship finalist for the past 12 years and has appeared in the New Years Day parade in London along with appearances in Rome and Paris up to the past decade. Impressive. (upbeat band music) (“You’re a Grand Old Flag”) (“Auld Lang Syne”) (upbeat band music) And U-Haul is grateful to serve as the grade sponsor and to highlight the true meaning of Memorial Day, honoring and remembering the heroes who gave so selflessly for our freedom and recognizing the families they left behind.

[Kyra] U-Haul, who’s co-founder was a World War II Navy vet continues it’s long standing support of our veterans and troops by show casing the five branches of the US Armed Services on the sides of U-Haul trucks. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. (upbeat band music) And in 2010 the US Congress voted unanimously for Spirit of ’45 day, a national day that honors the achievements and values of the men and women of the World War II generation. And who can forget the famous photo, The Kiss. So amazing.

[Natalie] Let’s see the kiss now. This next float commemorates that spirit, welcoming surviving veterans of the second World War. Among the veterans joining us is Colonel Frank Cohn, a Jewish refugee from Germany who returned to fight with the US Army. A special thank you to these veterans and our entire greatest generation. And that was a kiss. Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive is a national non-profit coalition who’s mission is to promote awareness and participation in spirit of 45 days so that the example of our greatest generation will continue to inspire future generations of Americans, especially the youth of our nation.

[Kyra] Several hundred young Americans are joining us today as part of this campaign. They’re paying tribute to the 75th anniversary of the sacrifices made by our World War II generation and our carrying photo’s, as you see, heroes of the war. (upbeat band music) And we’ll be right back with more parade, right after this.

[Male Narrator] Coming up, we honor the fallen of the Korean and Vietnam wars. And, a performance from the USO Show Troop. (patriotic band music) (crowd applauding and cheering) (crowd cheering) (drum line beat)

[Female Announcer] Semper Fi out there Marines. (crowd cheering) I’m not hearing you. (loud cheering) Thank you for (mumbling)

[Male Announcer] Here’s the Federated Riders of America. A division of the (motorcycle engine roaring). They ride for America, for constitution, culture, in honor of freedom. (motorcycle engine roaring) (crowd cheering) (motorcycle engines loudly roaring) (crowd cheering and clapping) (“America the Beautiful”)

Toby Keith, to all who have served and are serving, most especially those who’ve lost a loved one in service to our country, we’re thinkin’ about you this Memorial Day. It’s been my honor to meet so many of you over the years and I can’t thank you enough for your service and sacrifice.

Hey everybody, this is Chris Stapleton. I wanna send this message out to all of our armed services members, our veterans that’ve served in the past, and the military families around the world and say thank you. Thank you for all of your sacrifices and everything that you do to keep us safe.

Hey y’all, Dierks Bentley here. Just wanna send a message out to all the service men and women around the country, around the world that might be watching this and just to say thank you guys so much for doing what you do. I love each and everyone of you, I have so much respect for y’all. I appreciate the sacrifice that you guys are making for us, that your families are making for the rest of us. Just one percent of y’all are out there doing this for all of us so, God bless you guys. Thank you so much and I hope you have a great Memorial Day.

Welcome back to our nations capitol here in Washington D.C.

Our next segment of the parade honors the heroes of the Korean War.

[Male Narrator] More than 36-thousand Americans died during service in the Korean War, often called the forgotten war. Today veterans refer to Korea as the forgotten victory following the economic success of South Korea.

[Natalie] Our next float is from Veterans in Defense of Liberty. A national brotherhood of veterans energetically bound by their lifelong oath to support and defend our constitution. This years float honors their brothers and sisters from the Revolutionary War to the present. Those who sacrifice their lives to preserve our God given liberty. Escorting the float are members from Liberty Riders of America.

[Kyra] Joining the float are special guests, veterans of the Korean War. Almost 1.8-million Americans served impleder during the Korean War and this is a generation that deserves to be remembered for their valor, honor, and sacrifice. (upbeat band music) And more than 36-thousand Americans were killed in the Korean War which began when North Korean forces invaded the South, June 25th, 1950 and as of today, there are still 7,704 Americans missing in action. Though open hostilities ended with (trumpets blowing) in 1953, no peace treaty was signed and technically the war is not ended. Today, we have with us 30 Korean War vets who have traveled from all over the United States to be with us, including Doctor Paul Cunningham, President of the Korean War Veterans Association of the United States.

[Natalie] Their mission is to ensure that the legacy of the Korean War generation is not forgotten. (patriotic band music) (crowd applauding) (upbeat band music) This horse represents “Sargent Reckless”, America’s greatest war horse and a Korean War hero. She’s wearing a blanket like the one worn by Sargent Reckless when she arrived back home in America in 1954, complete with her ribbons. She is led by retired Lieutenant Colonel James Shaffer.

[Kyra] And Sargent Reckless carried ammunition during the Korean War. In one battle she made 51 trips back and forth to the guns, walking more than 35 miles through heavy artillery fire. She even carried the wounded off the battle field. She wasn’t just a horse, she was a US Marine.

[Natalie] The Northport Tiger Marching Band, Flagline and Tigerettes is the largest high school band in New York state with a total of 325 members. The group is made up of students in grades nine through 12.

[Kyra] And the band celebrated it’s 60th year in 2017 and in that it performed at the New York Jets halftime shows, Yankee games, and were recognized as the official marching band of New York state when they opened the World’s Fair in 1964. (upbeat band music) (drum line beat)

[Male Narrator] 58,318 names of American’s lost in service are etched into the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Nearly 6-million visitors pay their respects at the memorial each year.

[Natalie] And here’s Rolling Thunder featuring several of thousands of motorcycle riders who join the annual Ride for Freedom here in Washington this Memorial Day weekend. Riding from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. They say to protect the future veterans from being left behind, should they become prisoners of war, missing in action. They’re committed to helping American Veterans from all wars. (upbeat band music)

[Kyra] And representing the heroes of Vietnam, please welcome retired Brigadier General Steve Ritchie, joined by his wife, Mariana.

[Natalie] General Ritchie is the only Air Force Pilot Ace of the Vietnam War having downed five enemy MIG-21s. According to Veterans Tribute, he is the fifth most decorated living American. (patriotic band music)

[Kyra] And as we commemorate the continued 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we present our next float featuring decorated veterans of Vietnam. 2.7-million Americans served in Vietnam between 1960 and the end of the direct US involvement in 1973. More than 58-thousand of our heroes did not come home from that war. 61% of those killed were under the age of 21.

[Natalie] Those veterans who did come home, like my own father, were never greeted with the welcome our parades they so richly deserved. To our Vietnam veterans who may by watching today, thank you for your service and welcome home.

[Kyra] Let’s head back to Constitution Avenue. Chef Robert Irvine.

Thank you, Kyra. I’m joined by the 26th commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Carl Shultz. Admiral, first of all, thank you for joining us today. You’re all dressed up in your uniform in this heat. As a leader of more than 48-thousand active duty men and women, reserve Coast Guard as well, what do you want to say on behalf of the Coast Guard to the American people.

Well I’d just like to say, Robert first off, it’s a privilege to be here with you and thanks for all you do for veterans and to recognize American that serve. It’s an honor to represent the men and women of the Coast Guard as we honor those that ultimately sacrificed their lives in the service of our country. Protecting’ those ideals, those are the men and women of all the Armed Services. Memorial Day we get together, in addition to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice, we honor their families. Today is a special day. Without Memorial Day, as the Georgia folks say, throughout the weekend, there wouldn’t be any other holidays, only weekends. So, it’s just a privilege here on behalf of all the men and women Coast Guard that serve today, that’ve served in the past, to be part of today’s event here. I understand there’s quarter-million plus people coming out to pay tribute to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice and I’m just honored to be amongst them today, Robert.

Thank you, Sir. Right back to you guys.

All right Robert, thanks so much. And here’s members from the Korean Vietnam War Veterans Association of the Greater Washington area. The Korean military force joined Vietnam war, the American military force in 1965. (crowd clapping) All right now before we head to break, we’re gonna have another very special musical performance for you. You know him from film and also television, rather, as the star of his hit show like, Designated Survivor and the now legendary Jack Bauer on 24.

[Natalie] An acclaimed actor and now critically acclaimed musician performing his new title, This is How It’s Done. Here is Kiefer Sutherland. (upbeat guitar tune) ♪ First time in a barroom when I was just a boy ♪ ♪ Two men commenced to fightin’, ♪ ♪ It was fightin’ they enjoyed ♪ ♪ And as fast as it started, it was over and done ♪ ♪ One man left standin’, there could only be one ♪ ♪ Well he looked me in the eye and he said, C’mon son ♪ ♪ It’s time to drink some whiskey, ♪ ♪ And this is how it’s done ♪ ♪ This is how it’s done ♪ ♪ Yeah, this is how it’s done ♪ ♪ This is how it’s done ♪ ♪ Yeah, this is how it’s done ♪ ♪ Honky-tonks and juke joints, ♪ ♪ They fast became my home ♪ ♪ Always in good company wherever I would roam ♪ ♪ Stompin’ to the music with a cold one in my hand ♪ ♪ One night, a pretty cowgirl’s eyes cried ♪ ♪ Catch me if you can ♪ ♪ So I followed her to the dance floor ♪ ♪ And she showed me where she’s from ♪ ♪ When I yelled out to the crowd ♪ ♪ Hey, now this is how it’s done ♪ ♪ This is how it’s done ♪ (crowd applauding)

[Male Narrator] Coming up from Washington D.C., a very special salute to the heroes of the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. (patriotic band music) (“My Country ‘Tis Of Thee”) (patriotic band music) (crowd cheering and applauding) (drum line beat)

[Male Announcer] Memorial High School (drums) band, San Antonio, Texas.

[Female Announcer] My home town. (upbeat band music) (air brakes swooshing)

[Male Announcer] The 2019 National Memorial Day parade sponsored by American Airlines. Official airline of (upbeat band music)

[Female Announcer] And thank you to the USO Shoe Troop for being here. (mumbling) (air brakes swooshing) (country music) ♪ Extraordinary place ♪ ♪ Where the Stars and Stripes and the eagle fly ♪ ♪ There’s a lady that stands in a harbor ♪ ♪ For what we believe ♪ ♪ And there’s a bell that still echoes ♪ ♪ The price that it cost to be free ♪ ♪ Well it ain’t the only place on earth ♪ ♪ Ain’t the only place ♪ ♪ But iout’s the only place that I prefer ♪ ♪ Place that I prefer ♪ ♪ Well if you got pride and you’re proud you do ♪ ♪ Then we could so more like me and you ♪ ♪ Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly ♪ (crowd clapping)

[Natalie] Welcome back to Washington D.C. and the 2019 National Memorial Day parade.

[Kyra] Thank you there to the USO Show Troop for that fantastic performance. For more than 75 years the USO has helped strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country.

[Natalie] The big Idaho potato truck now on it’s eighth cross-country journey. It travels the country promoting the certified heart healthy Idaho potato and it’s mission to help charities with it’s A Big Helping Program. Not to mention, who doesn’t want their picture taken with a 4-ton Idaho potato. (laughing) Sign me up.

[Kyra] Everybody shows up for the big, big 4-ton potato. The Chapin High School “Pride of the Midlands” Marching Band is part of one of the most successful band programs in the state of South Carolina.

[Natalie] In the last nine years the Pride of the Midlands has been a top competitor in South Carolina State Marching Band Championships winning six regional championships and four state championships the last eight years. Let’s listen. (“America the Beautiful”)

[Kyra] The National Memorial Day parade salutes those who served in the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm.

[Male Narrator] The Gulf War, known as Operation Desert Storm, brought together the largest coalition of countries since World War II. It proved the most decisive victory in modern warfare. (“The Stars and Stripes Forever”)

[Natalie] This next float is brought to us by the state of Kuwait and commemorates the coalition victory in the Gulf War. Among the parades earliest and strongest supporters the people of Kuwait wish to convey their deep appreciation for those who served and those who fell in the fight to liberate their country.

[Kyra] The people of Kuwait wish to convey that Kuwait remembers our Gulf War vets, several of whom are walking along side that float. On behalf of the people of Kuwait we have the following message now, from the Ambassador of the United States, Ambassador Al-Sabah.

Very special relationship between Kuwait and the US Armed Forces was forged and actually cemented during the first Gulf War. In 1990 and 91, we Kuwaities watched in amazement and admiration as the US Armed Forces put themselves in harms way to liberate my country. And ever since that day, we’ve had a very special place in our hearts and our minds for the US Armed Forces. And that’s why we are present at Memorial Day with our float and we will always be there to say thank you. (upbeat band music)

[Natalie] The National Desert Storm War Memorial Association is marching a group of more than 400 veterans who served on active duty during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The Gulf War, which was a successful liberation of the state of Kuwait in 1991 with the result of a coalition of 34 nations under the leadership if president George H. W. Bush and General Norman Schwarzkopf.

[Kyra] Marching today are hundreds of American military vets along with a contingent of Canadian veterans who served in the Gulf War. (patriotic band music)

[Natalie] Stay with us, we’ll be back for more of our parade coverage from Washington D.C. right after this.

My fellow citizens, on this day we are humbled to honor all those who’ve served the republic in the defense of freedom. The United States is indeed an exceptional nation and our military, the purest and bravest of us all. Today we honor and remember the best this nation has ever produced, our heroes who have sacrificed all to defend freedom. God bless them all and thank you.

[Male Narrator] Coming up, the parades grand finally. Hundreds of uniform troops in a salute to those who have sacrificed on the front lines today. (crowd chatter) (car horn honking) (engines roaring) (car horn honking) (crowd cheering and applauding) (crowd chatter)

[Male Announcer] 1.3-million Americans serve in our military today. Since 9/11, almost 7,000 have made the ultimate sacrifice. Today’s military continues (mumbling) and excellence seen throughout our country’s history. The National Memorial Day parade, honors toady’s military.

[Female Announcer] The 2019 Memorial Day parade (crowd cheering and applauding) (patriotic band music) (military chanting) (upbeat band music) (crowd cheering and applauding) (upbeat band music)

Back to the 15th annual National Memorial Day parade.

Our parade timeline concludes as we honor those serving and sacrificing on the front lines today.

And you’re listening to Massachusets Maritime Academy’s Regimental Band and Honor Guard comprised of cadets from the band, Honor Guard, and precision drill team.

[Kyra] The Pride of the Regiment performs annually, more than 100 times for live audiences of 1.5-million people. (upbeat band music)

[Male Narrator] 1.3-million Americans serve in our military today. Since 9/11, almost 7,000 have made the ultimate sacrifice. Today’s military continues a tradition of honor and excellence, seen throughout of country’s history.

[Natalie] And now for the parades grand finally, led by active duty service personnel from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, and Coast Guard. Also joining is the Public Health Service Commission Corp. One of our uniformed services founded in 1889.

[Kyra] The Commission Corp dates back to an Act signed by our second President, John Adams on July 16th, 1798.

[Natalie] We’re especially proud and honored to welcome home many of these troops who have just recently returned from deployment over seas. (upbeat band music) Stay with us, we’ll be right back with more from the parade.

[Male Narrator] We’ll be back for more parade from Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. (patriotic band music) (military chant) (upbeat band music) (crowd cheering and applauding) (patriotic band music) (crowd chatter) (faint band music) (police siren wailing) (crowd chatter) (faint patriotic band music)

Thank you all for watching today. It’s been such an honor to be here. We’d like to thank all our veterans, parade marchers, and volunteers, as well.

And a special thank you to the American Veterans Center and all of the sponsors here today. And Robert, what would you like to say?

Well, what an incredible day. So many inspirational stories from our military, both past and present. I’m just honored to be here amongst it all. Amazing, thank you so much guys.

You’ve done an incredible job, thank you, Robert. To those of you serving in harms way, stay safe and thank you once again for your service.

And we hope to see you back here next year on Constitution Avenue. Good bye everyone and happy Memorial Day. (patriotic band music) (patriotic band music) (deep mysterious tune) (upbeat jazz tune) (somber horn tune)

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