One of Washington, DC’s coolest summer happenings are the daily parades that are presented proudly and flawlessly by members of the US Marine Corps, elegantly dressed in full uniform. Every Tuesday, from May through August, visitors can watch Marines march in military formation, twirling and throwing rifles as the US Marine Drum and Bugle Corp plays in the background. There are two parades – the Evening Parade, which takes place at the Marine Barracks on Capitol Hill, and the Sunset Parade, which takes place on the grounds of the US Marine Corps War Memorial, more often simply referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial. The parades are only an hour long – it’s a perfect way to cap off a day of sightseeing in Washington, DC. Reservations for both parades are required but there is no charge. This is an extremely popular event so book your spots early!
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The Iconic U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington honors the bravery and contributions of the nation's Marines. A grand statue depicts a scene of the six servicemen who raised the second U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. This moment was based off the iconic, Pultizer Prize-winning photograph captured by Joe Rosenthal. The figures stand on a granite base engraved with the names and dates of every major Marine Corps engagement since 1775.
This famous memorial is located off of George Washington Memorial Parkway and Route 50. There is a free parking lot for drivers and it can also be accessed by foot from the Rosslyn Metro Station or by the free shuttle bus that runs from the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Center.