The Henley High School Band marched in the 2022 National Memorial Day Parade May 30 on Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C.
Jaidin Hulsey, a senior who plays saxophone in the band, called participating in the parade “a breathtaking” experience. “We marched down Constitution Avenue, past the National Mall, and right next to the monuments we have seen so many times on TV,” she said. “One of the things that stuck with me most was that normally, when we march in parades, the people watching cheer for Henley High School as we walk by. But in this parade, they cheered for Oregon since we were the only school there representing the entire state of Oregon.”
The band was invited to participate after being nominated in 2019 by Gov. Kate Brown for the 2021 parade, said Katherine Garvin, Henley’s band director. When the pandemic closed schools, the school instead secured a nomination for the 2022 event. Garvin believes the nomination was because of the band’s third-place finish in the Starlight Parade during the 2019 Rose Festival in Portland.
“I believe Henley’s stellar reputation as an outstanding school was taken into consideration as well,” she said.
The band made the trip a few days ahead of the parade so students could tour monuments and national museums in the U.S. capitol.
Band members were able to lay a wreath with a ribbon that stated “Henley High School Band” on the Oregon pillar of the World War II Memorial.
“That was an honor to represent our school and such a powerful moment for me and for all of the band members,” Hulsey said.
Students also participated in an unannounced ceremony placing flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. “We each took a flower and laid it at the base of the tomb as we walked by,” Hulsey recalled “It was such a neat thing to be able to honor the people who have fought for our freedoms.”