The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon Sunset Parade is a sight to behold. The uniformed Marines, the stunning backdrop that is so rich in history, and the crowds it attracts makes this event one that has to be seen to be believed.
The parade includes a brilliant performance from the Drum and Bugle Corps at the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), followed by an impressive Drill Platoon performance that clearly showcases the discipline possessed by the Marine Corps with quick paced rifle moves that are too many to count. The platoon consists of 24 Marines.
The Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps, known as “Commandant’s Own”arrive dressed in their brilliant red attire and open with some well-known marching band songs.
Watch this amazing performance:
Then the Marines drill platoon will carry out a sequence of precise drill moves with their “hand-polished, 10-and-one-half pound, M1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets. The members of the drill platoon are carefully handpicked from either Camp Pendleton, Calif., or Camp Lejeune, N.C., and once they have been chosen, they will serve a 2-year ceremonial tour at the Marine Barracks Washington,” the Marine’s website stated.
The drill platoon functions with no verbal orders and ends every performance with a mind-blowing inspection routine and the holstering of the bayonets.
The Sunset Parade is a 60-minute presentation that is held on Tuesdays from late spring to early fall. The weekly and seasonal event enjoys free admission to the public where spectators are welcome to bring chairs or a blanket to sit on and enjoy the show on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or the surrounding lawn, the Marines website detailed. The crowd remains silent, with the exception of an applause here and there for the grand performance.
The first Silent Drill Platoon performed in 1948 at the Sunset Parades. It was supposed to be a one-time performance but was enjoyed so much that it soon became a tradition in the parade designed to show support for men and women in uniform, but not until 1956 did it become a regular event.
The fact that the performance takes place at the 72 feet tall Iwo Jima Memorial only enhances the event. While the Memorial is also known as the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, it represents one of the most well-known events of World War II and honors every Marine who lost their life defending the U.S. since 1775. At the bottom of the monument it is emblazoned with “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue,” according to World Strides.