National Parade serves as reminder of Memorial Day’s true meaning

Anya Chen, Reporter

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With a four day long break for Memorial Day, people often forget the true meaning behind the holiday: the remembrance of the heroes who lost their lives serving our country.

This year, the 14th National Memorial Day Parade was held on Monday, May 28 along Constitution Avenue, and reminded the hundreds of thousands of viewers who came to the National Mall of the sacrifices the fallen soldiers made for America.

“So many Americans today have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day, as many people seem to just see it as an extra day off to have a barbecue or go to the pool,” said junior Morgan Rich, a Highlander who attended the parade. “The parade is a gentle but important reminder that Memorial Day should be spent honoring those who have fought and given their lives for our country.”

The parade provided a family friendly event that represented a moving timeline of American military history, preserving the legacies of those who served from the American Revolution to both World Wars, to Vietnam and Korea, and to Iraq and Afghanistan, and featured personal stories of men, women, and even animals like horses and dogs who gave their lives.

Notable features in the parade include the Heroes of the 15:17 to Paris, three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack in 2015 and received the Legion of Honour; the Tuskegee Airmen who were the first African American Air Force pilots; actor Joe Mantegna who plays a Vietnam veteran and FBI agent in Criminal Minds; along with actor Gary Sinise who played Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump.

“One of the highlights of the parade was seeing all the veterans who took part, including the Tuskegee Airmen and a 106 year old World War II veteran, as well as all the old cars and military vehicles,” Rich said.

Memorial Day or not, the soldiers’ service and sacrifice must be recognized and acknowledged. As Americans, we must ensure that the impact and legacies of the fallen live on in history, even if it’s through something as flamboyant as a parade.

Several highlights from the parade: 

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