Memorial Day parade draws large crowds

Photo: Sam Ford/ABC7

An annual Memorial Day event took place on the streets of D.C. Monday.
People crowded into every available space along Constitution Avenue to remember those who gave their lives for this country.

“It’s important to honor our veterans like this,” says Michael Murray, a summer intern.

The Grand Marshal this year was J.R. Martinez. He’s known as an actor, winner of Dancing with the Stars and motivational speaker, but a decade ago he was a soldier whose Humvee hit a roadside bomb.

“To see all the people already here gathered to come out to support the parade and support all the vets whether they passed or they’re here today, it’s really overwhelming,” Martinez says.

RG3 and his parents were greeted with loud cheers. The quarterback’s parents, Robert Griffin II and Jacqueline Griffin, are both retired Army sergeants and served as honorary grand marshals.

It was also a festive event with many new Americans.

“It’s great,” says Hari Chakka of Charlotte. “It’s great to be a citizen of the United States.”

“We came on the train to visit the museums with them and we have that in order,” says Xochitl Moreno of Richmond.

The cheers went up as the city’s high-stepping Ballou High School Marching Knights went down a grand Constitution Avenue in memory of fallen Americans.