The Clover Hill High School marching band will make its way through the streets of Manhattan on Monday playing a medley of patriotic tunes in honor of the nation’s veterans.
The Chesterfield County high school band is performing at the 100th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, an event that the Clover Hill High School Marching Cavaliers performed at a decade ago.
“It’s a big honor to get to perform in the parade. They do have limited number of spots,” said Brianna Gatch, the Clover Hill band director. “We wanted to have the experience, and especially it being the centennial parade, we knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids.”
President Donald Trump is expected to speak during the opening ceremony at the parade, according to the United War Veterans Council, the nonprofit group that’s organizing the event.
“They are super excited and are elated at the news that the president is going to be in attendance at the parade,” Gatch said of the Clover Hill band members.
More than 25,000 participants are expected to take part in the parade, including veterans and active-duty military personnel, the veterans group said. Bands and floats will march past spectators lining Fifth Avenue, it said in a statement.
The parade will be led by five grand marshals who are veterans from conflicts going back to World War II. Among the marshals leading the parade are former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., and Zachary Iscol, a decorated Marines Corps officer who fought in Fallujah, Iraq.
The band will play a medley of “My Country ’Tis of Thee,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “America the Beautiful.”
Dave Moffatt, a trip chaperone whose daughter Riley plays the piccolo in the Marching Cavaliers, said she’s been looking forward to taking part in the parade.
“It’s a unique experience, the fact that she’s marching in the Veterans Day parade. We’ve had family in the military, so it’s a good way to honor our veterans,” Moffatt said.