Millions watched the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but they got a special treat this year: The Marine Corps Band.
For only the second time in the parade’s history, the band marched and performed in the streets of New York, reaching nearly 53 million on the streets and on TV with their music.
“It’s a tremendous honour to be invited into the homes of American families while they get together to celebrate Thanksgiving,” Master Gunnery Sgt. Jeffery Fangman, bandmaster for Quantico’s band, told Ameesha Felton. “It’s one of the greatest opportunities we have to tell the Marine Corps story to the nation and internationally — through music, drill, snap and pop, and through everything we represent as Marines.”
80 Marines made up the formation — coming from Quantico, Va., Cherry Point, N.C., and Jacksonville, N.C.
The band won the chance at performing in the parade through a lottery in 2011, beating out more than 150 applicants, according to WITN.
Performing popular marches like 'Semper Fidelis,' the official march of the United States Marine Corps and the 'Marines Hymn.'
'When (the viewers) see a group of 80 Marines marching down the street in their dress blues and with their medals, they'll really get a glimpse of the pride of the Marine Corps, which goes beyond what we do in combat,' said Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Otis, before the performance.
He continued: 'Our job is to show people that we have a three-block war mentality and we are that third block, we're that hand reaching out.'
The band delivered an 'exciting musical moment but would create an opportunity to salute and give thanks for all the brave American men and women of our armed forces this Thanksgiving,' according to Wesley Watley, the parade's creative director.
'It's always been my dream to play with a military band and the fact that we're going to Macy's representing the Marine Corps Band is pretty awesome,' said Lance Cpl. Eric Potter before the event.
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