Fifteen veterans of the 99th Infantry Division participated in the 2010 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C., on a hot and humid, but sunny day. Thousands of citizens lined Constitution Avenue and watched some 200 units pass by – soldiers, veterans, high school bands, floats, vintage cars, motorcycles and mounted details.
Step-off time was 2 p.m. and at 3 p.m. the entire parade was stopped as “Taps” was sounded by buglers all up and down the parade route in memory of all those who have died in each of our nation’s wars, from the Indian Wars to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The most important unit, though, was our contingent. (Would we lie to you?)
Again, the 99th Infantry Division was the only “dog face” division in the parade. The 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions were represented, but they do not count. They flew into battle – we walked.
Perhaps the best part of it all was the fellowship we shared at a luncheon in the parish hall of St. Mark Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill before, and then the snack time afterward. Stories were shared.
We gathered from all over the nation – California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.
Some 50 family members came with the veterans and for them it was an eye opener to hear of some of our exploits and to see their veterans in the parade.
Two “ringers” joined us in the parade, friends of 99’ers: Rudy Zamula, 83rd Division (from Omaha to the Elbe) and Bill Saavedra (Korea and Vietnam). The bearer of our colors was Vietnam veteran Gary Harrington, son of 99’er Chuck Harrington.
Veterans in attendance were Alfred Bucci, Q/099, Catonsville MD; Darrell Carter, 3MED, Glen Ellen CA; Carl Hall, I/395, Arlington VA; Charles Harrington, T/395, Media PA; Herbert Knapp, 1/394, Lutherville MD; Walter Levandansky, L/393, Elizabeth PA; Constantine Ludovico, 393, Hamden CT; Alfred Mauroff, 324 Eng., Cabot PA; Patrick Morris, L/394, Bethesda MD; Kenneth Myers, Q/394, Tacoma Park MD; David Perlman, C/394, Silver Spring MD; Joe Prola, 4MED, Blairsville PA; John Rue, S/394, Reston VA; Wilbur Young, C/372, and Arnold Taylor, MP/099, Washington, DC.
The coordinator of all this was our chaplain, the Rev. Arnold G. Taylor of Washington, D.C. Anyone interested in participating next year is urged to contact him at 507 Third St. SE, Washington DC, or firstname.lastname@example.org.