The National Memorial Day Parade, held annually along Constitution Avenue in our nation’s capital – Washington, DC – shares the story of American honor and sacrifice from across the generations. The parade, commemorating its twelfth year, is our nation’s largest Memorial Day event, drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators to the National Mall to pay tribute to those who have served, are serving, and most importantly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while in service to our country.
U-Haul is proud to be a long-time sponsor of this parade with 2016 marking the 9th consecutive year. The parade was launched in 2005 by the American Veterans Center in Washington, D.C. and has grown in size every year. The parade has been broadcasted live to U.S. troops stations around the globe.
“This was my second year participating in the Memorial Day parade and I must say it was an amazing experience,” said Allen Laine, president U-Haul Company of Maryland. “My team and I have a great deal of respect for our service men and women and the sacrifice they and their families make. It’s our pleasure to honor them on Memorial Day!”
This year, U-Haul Team members, their families and friends came together once again to honor our nation’s heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. A U-Haul truck showcasing the “United We Stand” SuperGraphic, honoring the victims of 9/11, rolled through the streets serving as the National Memorial Day Pre-Parade entry for the fifth consecutive year. Parade goers excitedly grabbed flags being passed out by U-Haul Team members comprised of family and friends from U-Haul Company of Maryland, U-Haul Company of Metro DC, U-Haul Company of Pittsburgh and U-Haul External Communications. ‘Thank You’s’ and expressions of gratitude carried throughout the crowds.
“The outcome from the D.C. Memorial Day Parade this year was beyond what I expected when planning it, ” said Amanda Kirsh, president U-Haul Company of D.C. Metro. “The volunteers that came from U-Haul were very energetic and the crowd was feeding from them throughout the parade. It was great to have representation from four Marketing Companies for this year’s parade. I am beyond grateful to work for a company that supports our military the way U-Haul does. I personally come from a military family and it really does make a difference in their lives knowing there is someone always there to support them. It is always an honor to be a part of this to remember those who sacrificed their lives so we can have our freedom.”
U-Haul also had the honor of gifting the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive float entry for the second year. The entry included youth volunteers carrying photos of the fallen of WWII in the 10th annual Spirit of ’45 Memorial Day March of Heroes. Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, the chancellor of the University of Richmond, who rode his motorcycle 6,000 miles to promote awareness about this year’s events in August and also made a stop in Phoenix to visit U-Haul Headquarters, was also present with the Spirit of ’45 entry. U-Haul has been a proud supporter of Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive since the foundation’s beginnings.
“Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of silence is taken 3pm local time to remember the countless number of fallen soldiers,” explained Bob Bourgeois, president U-Haul Company of Pittsburg. “This was a very powerful moment.
I was proud to be part of this moment and it was very moving to share patriotism with my family, fellow UHAUL workers, the local DC community, American citizens from all over the country/world, and the families of these fallen heroes.”
Thank you to the American Veterans Center for making this National Memorial Day possible, Team U-Haul for participating in this year’s parade, and to the service members, past and present, who sacrifice so much to keep our country safe.
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Did you tune into the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. this year? Have you seen the U-Haul Commemorative SuperGraphics trucks on the road? Please share your experiences in the comments below.