For most of my life, Memorial Day has meant commemorating our veterans, watching parts of the parade on TV, having outdoor cookouts, and spending time with friends. This Memorial Day was… a bit different from the norm.
I received a message to volunteer for the Memorial Day Parade [with Miss District of Columbia] and seeing as how I’ve never done it before [nor met Miss DC], I said: “Yes, I’d like to volunteer!” As Memorial Day approached, I used Twitter, Facebook, email, and etc. to ask for volunteers. Despite my best efforts, and continuing encouragement from President Obama about volunteering, by Memorial Day I only had two people interested in going! [I even mentioned meeting Miss DC! I guess the general public is still not in a volunteering mood, plus the fact that many of my known volunteers were on summer vacation.]
By Monday, the day of the Memorial Day Parade, we had accumulated a small group of volunteers. I set out to Virginia to meet up.
As I arrived in VA, I discovered to my surprise that not only would I get a chance to meet Miss District of Columbia, but also other Queens–Miss United States, Miss Maryland, and Miss Teen Maryland! There was a small photo shoot and a light brunch. We left for DC in cars and on Metro.
Arriving in DC, we got to our volunteering tent and picked up our gear–shirts, water, food, and signs. At first, due to certain circumstances, all the Queens were unable to register for a float and were confined only to the sidelines of the parade. As we walked to our volunteering posts, we meet several branches of our United States military–the Marines, the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force. The military was extremely excited to meet the Queens and quickly offered them a chance to walk/march with them in the parade–Golden opportunity, so we took it! The parade began and the Queens walked proudly alongside our troops in the parade. [Although technically, we were not sure if the Queens were allowed to walk, who would question the decision made by out troops on Memorial Day? Hehe]
It was an exhilarating and amazing volunteering experience and I would definitely do this again next year. I highly want to commemorate our veterans, current military personnel, military families, all the volunteers, and the Queens [After all, walking a mile in heels is no walk in the park.]