Holidays and parades go together like peanut butter and chocolate or baseball and hot dogs. Can you imagine St. Patrick’s Day without a parade of green Irish (and Irish-for-the-day) revilers marching down the street? Or Thanksgiving morning without the giant floats leading the way for Santa? But not all parades, and holidays for that matter, are a day of celebration. Some are for a day of remembrance and reverence. Like Memorial Day.
Held on the last Monday in the month of May, Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces. And The National Memorial Day Parade not only honors all those who have served our country, but aims to educate people about the meaning and importance of this sacred holiday.
Interestingly enough, our nation’s capital (and headquarters of the military), Washington D.C. , was without a Memorial Day parade. It wasn’t until 2005 that the American Veterans Center (AVC) created the National Memorial Day Parade as an event for the entire country to draw attention to the real meaning for the holiday: honoring those who given their lives in the line of duty.
According to the AVC, the 2006 parade drew more than 250,000 spectators, and it continues to grow every year. The parade includes nearly 200 participants, including marching bands, active duty and retired military units, youth groups, floats, and hundreds of veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Quicken Loans is proud to be a sponsor in the 2012 National Memorial Day Parade. As the nation’s 4th largest VA Loan lender, we have a personal and professional responsibility to support veterans and the military community. Whether it’s by sponsoring events like the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic or the Pat Tillman Foundation’s annual Pat’s Run, or by donating to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society or Wounded Warriors, our company and our family of companies is dedicated to serving those who have served our country.
So please, when you’re with your friends and family on this year’s Memorial Day holiday, take some time to quietly honor those who have bravely fought and given their lives for our freedom.
To the fallen men and women of the armed forces, you may be gone, but you are not forgotten.
Highlights of the 2012 parade:
- A tribute to the men and women who have served and sacrificed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- A commemoration of the start of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.
- A salute to the sacrifices of the U.S. Air Force, featuring the United States Air Force Band.
- A commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812.