Thousands of DC Area residents and tourists gathered along Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC on Monday, May 27th, 2013 to watch the Annual National Memorial Day Parade. This year’s Parade Grand Marshal was “J. R.” Martinez, an American actor, motivational speaker and former U.S. Army soldier during the Iraq War. In addition to Martinez, country music star Trace Adkins, as well as actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, served as Honorary Grand Marshals. Appearances were also made by Washington Redskins star Robert Griffin III and Miss America, Mallory Hagan. Before the start of the parade, a special performance was also put on by American Idol’s Taylor Hicks, as well as speeches by Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy; Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army; and Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations for the U.S. Navy.
During the parade, performances included presentations by the Marching Platoons of the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as numerous marching bands from high schools around the country.