Pass-in- review ceremonies could become a part of military museum activities
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By Dr. Peter B. Riesz
There are several functions of a proposed local military museum which would attract many tourists and other interested people to our town.
While here with any one of these functions, they would also use the local ambiance and learn more about us as a town.
Beside the obvious displays on military subjects, there is at least one other event the museum could sponsor, which could potentially draw very large crowds.
This function or event would be a full military pass-in-review ceremony. This event is a long standing tradition of our military to mark a change in command or some other important military-related event.
This could be performed in recognition of a new military museum and could be held in front of such a museum.
The event itself is a huge parade and formal review usually with a person or subject being honored.
Plenty of music is always a part of the event, accompanied by many flags. A lead band would be chosen to play at the review stand in between the other bands in the line-up.
An announcer would explain the goings-on during the ceremony as there are many traditions involved not known to the general public. They are all part of the military tradition.
The pass-in-review could be scheduled on the existing traditional Armed Forces Day, which is on the third Saturday in May. This would be a perfect time to recognize our military.
We would want to think big when planning such an event. We could at least ask for big bands including the Army Band and even the "Old Guard" or 3rd U.S. Infantry, which is the ceremonial unit in Washington, D.C. We might be turned down, but it is good to dream big.
I can envision the important lead band up front displaying the colors. We also would want to invite other bands such as our local schools and other military organizations.
Following the lead band would be our massed veteran organizations and veteran members from Victoria.
The local Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps involvement would be very important as would be the local Army Reserve and National Guard units.
We could extend invitations to other high schools and colleges with ROTC or similar programs. The Aggies of Texas A&M University, beside the full corps and band, have specialty units such as the Sol Ross Group.
Marching units from military installations such as Fort Sam Houston, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, and other military posts would fit right in.
There are probably other groups that could be invited that haven't been mentioned.
Beside the ground units, at various times during the ceremony there could be fly-over of different military planes and helicopters from the smallest to the largest.
This is potentially a big event and it may be wise to provide bleachers along the parade route to accommodate the crowd. Tents and appropriate support functions would need to be provided.
There are probably other areas that could be included that an advisory group might think of if this event is to happen.
Much planning would be required to make this come off smoothly. We do not intend this to be a one-shot affair but, once started, we plan it would be an annual event which would grow with each year.
Think big, Victoria.
This column is a research project of Dr. Peter B. Riesz. Contact Riesz at email@example.com or 361-575-4600.