Anthony Anderson, Drew Carey Hosting 2024 National Memorial Day Parade

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The American Veterans Center (AVC) is slated to hold its annual National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC on May 27, 2024. The event, which honors veterans who served in all American-involved wars, is once again being hosted by actor Anthony Anderson, with The Price Is Right (1972-present) host and US Marine Corps veteran Drew Carey also hosting for the first time.

Police officers riding motorcycles in the 2022 National Memorial Day Parade
2022 National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: DANIEL SLIM / AFP / Getty Images)

Presented by Boeing, the National Memorial Day Parade was reintroduced by the AVC in 2005, and over the past two decades it’s become the largest event of its kind in the United States. Tim Holbert, the organization’s president, spoke to War History Online about the parade and, as he explains, there was an overwhelming desire to bring it back after its decades-long hiatus. As soon as they got the green light from then-Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams, they set to work.

“You’re basically setting up a timeline of military history, from our beginnings with the American Revolution, all the way to today. So how do you tell that story? Telling those stories, finding the great pieces that are involved with it,” he explains, adding that they’re always aiming to tell “the stories of our fallen heroes throughout both the parade itself, but also the television broadcast.”

Holbert continues, “It’s a place for us to come together communally and show our appreciation and our gratitude to learn about these people. I always come back and say that our brand is aspirational history. It’s spotlighting these people and these stories that inspire us and make us want to be better, make us want to treat each other with respect.”

Members of the Fifes and Drums of York Town marching in the 2022 National Memorial Day Parade
2022 National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Matt McClain / The Washington Post / Getty Images)

This year’s parade is particularly special, as it’ll also be marking the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944 – better known as D-Day. In recognition of this, the event will be led by surviving World War II veterans, including Marvin Gilmore, who was present at D-Day, and members of the Eighth Air Force (“The Mighty Eighth”), whose heroics were dramatized in the 2024 Apple TV+ miniseries, Masters of the Air.

“It’s been the honor of my life,” Holbert says when asked about working with the veterans. “It has been what has motivated me throughout my time here. When I started, there were 16 million Americans who were in uniform and four million left when the World War II Memorial was dedicated. Now, there’s a little over 100,000.

“That generation is almost gone, but not yet,” he continues. “So there’s still time to do something to honor them publicly, to capture their memories and history.”

US Navy veterans being pulled behind a vehicle in a PT Boat
2017 National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images)

As aforementioned, the National Memorial Day Parade, which is slated to air live on FOX, NBC, the CW, CBS, ABC, their affiliates and the American Forces Network, will be hosted by Anthony Anderson and Drew Carey, the latter of whom said the opportunity is “a privilege.”

Among the other Hollywood stars set to pay tribute to the nation’s veterans are Bryan Cranston; Joe Mantegna; Miss America 2024 and active-duty US Air Force officer Madison Marsh; veteran and celebrity chef Robert Irvine; and Gary Sinise, who runs the veterans services organization, the Gary Sinise Foundation. Several musical performances will also occur from the United States Navy Band, Brian Kelley, The War & Treaty, and more.

“The universal sort of appreciation and gratitude is something that has been really fantastic to see,” Holbert says about the stars who agreed to appear at this year’s National Memorial Day Parade. “Sometimes, I think people think that the entertainment industry in Hollywood is not as engaged. I’ve found it to be the total opposite … The universal appreciation is something that has been really, really great to see.”

US Army soldiers marching in the 2019 National Memorial Day Parade
2019 National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images)

Part of the American Studies Center, the American Veterans Center is a nonprofit organization that relies on public support and private donations. Those looking to help the AVC continue its work can do so by donating via its official website or by checking out its YouTube channel, where video interviews with veterans are regularly uploaded.

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The 2024 National Memorial Day Parade will take place along Washington, DC’s Constitution Avenue. The pre-show is slated to kickoff at 12:30 PM EST, with the parade itself beginning at 2:00 PM.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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