WASHINGTON -- In a tradition lasting more than 200 years, Marines from the President’s Own Marine Band and Alpha and Bravo Company, Marine Barracks Washington, directly supported the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Jan. 21.
More than 700 thousand people made their way to the National Mall to watch President Barack Obama begin his second term as Commander in Chief of the United States.
More than 21,000 service members supported the inauguration but only about 5,000 participated in the parade. They marched for about a mile and half along the streets of Washington, from the Capitol to the White House. Although only about 300 Marines marched in the parade, this small unit represented the Marine Corps as a whole.
“At the start we march on the drums, then we play “Semper Fidelis,” the official march of the Marine Corps,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. William Brown, Drum Major for the President’s Own. “Once we get in front of the White House, the president is in a reviewing stand. Along side him is the Commandant of the Marine Corps. It’s the time where the commandant is able to display the Marine Corps to the president, which is why it is so very important that we look our absolute best and sound great.”
Lance Cpl. Taylor Griffard considered himself lucky to be a part of the ceremony. He marches with Bravo Company, a duty only held for two years, so he appreciates his tour falling in line with the Presidential Inauguration. Griffard said this was a great opportunity, regardless of political beliefs.
“This is huge for D.C., not just as a community but for the entire country,” Griffard said. “To be out here and to be able to go to this event is a rare and amazing opportunity.”
For the Marines who participated, representing the Corps is a responsibility they don’t take lightly.
“I think it’s very important to have the Marine Corps involved in the inauguration for the president of the United States,” Brown said. “We’re America’s Marine Corps.”