For Immediate Release — July 2, 2013 | HQ
Elaine Kanellis: | 571.372.0614
ALEXANDRIA, VA — July 2, 2013 — ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Marilee Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will be honored at the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Sunset Parade this evening at 7 p.m. at the Iwo Jima Memorial (Marine Corps War Memorial) in Washington, D.C.
Brig. Gen. Marcela Monahan, Assistant Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration (MOB) will be the USMC Hosting Official.
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 parade’s backdrop is the bronze monument modeled after the famous photo of the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima. The monument was unveiled at Arlington National Cemetery in November 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower who dedicated the memorial to all marines who had died to keep their country free.
Originally, the Iwo Jima Sunset Parade 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.
This evening’s event will honor Ms. Fitzgerald, who directs a team of nearly 16,000 employees in DoDEA’s 194 schools around the world who dedicated themselves to educating, engaging, and empowering more than 84,000 DoDEA students and 1.2 million military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world. Nearly 8,000 DoDEA students are affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Ms. Fitzgerald expressed gratitude for the U.S. Marine Corps’ recognition and appreciation of DoDEA’s mission.
“I am humbled by this honor presented to me by General and Mrs. Amos and the great and valiant United States Marine Corps,” said Ms. Fitzgerald. “I appreciate their recognition as a tribute to the Department of Defense Education Activity and the collective and incomparable efforts of an extraordinary team of professionals. These professionals educate and support the 1.2 million school-aged children of our nation’s heroes– the United States Armed Forces. I am honored and proud to be recognized at this event that is so rich in tradition and significance and I am grateful for their support.”
DoDEA Director Honored at Sunset Parade/2-2-2
The Sunset Parade begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. and concludes 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.
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.
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.