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For Immediate Release — June 27, 2013 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | 571-372-0613
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | 571-372-0614

Iwo Jima - Photo

Marilee Fitzgerald as honored guest at the United State Marine Corps Sunset Parade


The Sunset Parade takes place at the Iwo Jima Memorial (Marine Corps War Memorial) in Washington, D.C. The event will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. and conclude at 8:00 p.m. All DoDEA employees, their families, and friends are welcome to attend this tribute. Reservations are not required in order to attend and the ceremony is also open to the public.

A one hour performance, the Sunset Parade features the music of "The Commandant's Own", The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and precision drill by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. The spacious lawns provide ample room for guests to bring lawn chairs and blankets for informal viewing. No other type of seating is available, except for invited guests of the Parade Reviewing Officials.

For planning purposes, the following is the sequence of events for the evening.

  • 1857 Guests of honor are escorted to seats
  • 1900 Parade begins
  • 2000 Parade ends


There are no public parking spaces available at the Memorial grounds on Parade evenings. Guests may park at the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors' Center for a small fee. Marine Barracks provides a free shuttle bus service from the visitor¹s center to the war memorial grounds from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. before the parade and from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. following the parade. Shuttle information from Arlington National Cemetery visitors' center to the USMC War Memorial grounds.

History of the Sunset Parade

On November 10, 1954, the 179th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, a bronze monument modeled after the famous photo of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, was unveiled at the Arlington National Cemetery. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial to all Marines who had died to keep their country free.

Originally, the "Iwo Jima" Sunset Parade wasn't really a parade at all. It consisted of a formal guard mount and colors ceremony, concluding with a three-volley salute. Today's Sunset Parade is an elaborate performance featuring the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps with its "Music in Motion" and the precision rifle handling of the Marine Silent Drill Platoon.

Since September 1956, marching and musical units from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., have been paying tribute to those whose "Uncommon valor was a common virtue" by presenting Sunset Parades in the shadow of the 32-foot high figures of the United States Marine Corps War Memorial.

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