(Grand Marshal; Master: William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon No. 7; and Founding and current Senior Warden: The Eagle Lodge No.1893)
There are many events that DC Masons engage in throughout the year that get us in front of our community. We clean up parks, we go to the V.A., we meet with staff on the Hill, we process around the mall, and we sponsor events, just to name a few. However, there are no other annual events that give us as much pride and visibility as our participation in Independence Day parades around the city.
Every year, the Grand Lodge Independence Day Parade Committee starts working as early as February to get registered for four different parades around the city. We march in the National Parade, the Palisades Parade, the Takoma Park Parade, and the Capitol Hill Parade. Participating in these parades allows us to celebrate our great country while representing the Craft, and sharing that experience with friends and family who march with us.
This year, by 10:00am on July 4, over 20 Masons from Maynliad #, Albert Pike #33, Wm. R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon #7, Magnolia #53, and St. Johns Lodge #11, among others, as well as their family and friends, had gathered on the National Mall to begin preparing for a 11:45am National Parade step-off. By 10:30am, we took possession of our American Flag balloon, and eventually, stepped into the street. Sandwiched between two high school bands from different parts of the country, we marched down Constitution Ave. while thousands of parade attendees lined the streets and cheered when they saw our inflatable Old Glory pass by.
Up the road in Palisades, our Grand Master joined other Grand Lodge Officers and Brethren from Wm. R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon #7, Justice-Columbia #3, The Eagle #1893, National-Stansbury-Dawson #12, Potomac #5, Harmony #17, and Compass Lodge #1811, among others, who were also hard at work. The Palisades parade effort is dual-pronged. While some of the Brethren march in the neighborhood parade, handing out hundreds of American flags to attendees, others hang back at the recreation center to cook the thousands of free hot dogs that hungry community members will consume over the course of the next few hours.
Across town, Brethren from Hiram-Takoma #10, Samuel Gompers-Benjamin Franklin #45, L'Haitienne #925 and Osiris-Pentalpha #23 partnered with Eastern Star chapters and other Takoma Masonic Center residents to participate in one of the nation’s oldest Independence Day parades.
Over in Capital Hill, brethren from Naval #4 and Washington-Daylight #14 represented the Craft in their Capitol Hill parade, citing an excellent turn out and great logistics from the DC Metro Police.
All-in-all, it was an amazing day to be a citizen of the United States and a proud Freemason. I want to thank the members of my committee for planning and executing what was, by all accounts, a fun and successful day.
See you next year!