People from all over the world had their eyes on the National Memorial Day Parade on May 25. The parade, which kicked off under bright skies on Constitution Avenue, featured U.S. service members, marching bands, performers and Team U-Haul.
The National Memorial Day Parade was launched in 2005 by the American Veterans Center in Washington, D.C. The parade has grown in size and scope every year. Since 2008, the parade has been broadcast live to U.S. troops stationed around the globe. It is the largest Memorial Day event in the nation; a testament to the public’s desire to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom on this sacred day and to honor the true meaning of Memorial Day.
“U-Haul was one of the first sponsors of the National Memorial Day Parade when it started almost 10 years ago,” said Jim Roberts, president of the American’s Veterans Center. “We are honored to have the continued support of an organization that does so much for our military and service members, past and present.”
Year after year, U-Haul family and friends continue to honor our nation’s fallen heroes and the loved ones they left behind. This year was no different. 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 fourth consecutive year.
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, passed out American flags to parade-goers.
“I’ve been participating in the parade for a few years now,” stated Trenton Jackson with U-Haul Company of Metro DC. “I’m a veteran myself, so it’s great to work for a company that does so much for our service members.”
As the parade started rolling, U-Haul Team Members gathered behind the company banner and waived small American flags as they marched. This allowed Team U-Haul the opportunity to express the Company’s message to the nation: U-Haul salutes our fallen heroes and the families they left behind.
For this year’s parade, U-Haul also had the honor of gifting the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive float entry which included a Spirit of ’45 70th anniversary commemoration and a group of American Legion Riders led by 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.
U-Haul has been a proud supporter of Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive since the foundation’s beginnings.
Each year on Memorial Day, the Spirit of ’45 also has hundreds of youth volunteers come to the nation’s capitol to march in the parade carrying poster-sized photos of 400 of the more than 400,000 Americans who gave their lives to the cause of freedom in World War II.
“On Memorial Day, we honor them. These kids come out and stand for people who for 70 years were forgotten and we brought them forth to be remembered. U-Haul has helped sponsor this from the beginning and we are so thankful,” said Warren Hegg, National Supervisor of Keep the Spirit of 45 Alive.
Once the parade ended, the work didn’t end for a few U-Haul Team Members who volunteered to assist in moving the quarter-ton Spirit of ’45 Kiss Statue from the float to – you guessed it, a U-Haul truck.
Cameron Rufus, CSR U-Haul Moving and Storage of Capitol Hill, was among the Team Members who volunteered.
“I’ve been with the company for a year now and this is my first parade,” Rufus said. “It’s great to see the support our Team Members, company, and community have for our fallen heroes. I’m happy to be a small part in all this.”
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.
Click here to read more about U-Haul in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade.
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.
For more information on U-Haul’s community support visit our In the Community section.