Skip to comments.Marine Band veteran nears his last inauguration (President's Own)
Posted on 01/19/2013 10:54:56 AM PST by randita
Master Gunnery Sgt. D. Michael Ressler opens the big fireproof safe, bends his tall frame and slides out the Marine Band leaders logbook for 1937. He turns to Wednesday, Jan. 20. Inauguration Day, the entry begins.
Uniform blue and overcoats. Fierce downfall of rain near freezing during entire ceremony...a day long to be remembered ...band marched and played pretty much continuous...good to keep the blood circulating.
It was Franklin D. Roosevelts second inauguration, says Ressler, 60. Roosevelt spoke, and the band played, before an ocean of umbrellas. This was before Resslers day. But in a way, it was his time.
Ressler is the longest-serving current member of the legendary band, called The Presidents Own. He has participated in nine inaugurations over 35 years Monday likely will be his last and as the bands historian, he has custody of its archives, library and lore.
Original manuscripts in the hand of John Philip Sousa are at his fingertips.
So is the bands list of tunes from the 1937 ceremony, which included Happy Days Are Here Again.
And so are old news accounts, plus a photo, of the band at Abraham Lincolns first inauguration. You need a magnifying glass to pick the members out.
Ressler can tell the stories, heard from old-timers, of the galoshes that marchers left along the wintry parade route during John F. Kennedys inauguration in 1961 and how it was so windy that extra chin straps were needed to keep their hats on.
He remembers the frigid rain and mist at George W. Bushs first inauguration in 2001:
The temperatures hovered right above freezing. Youre surrounded by bright lights, and it looked like a night sky beyond those lights. You could see the rain, the mist swirling.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
As long as I can use the remote to turn to another channel when Obama and the Wookie appear I might watch the Parade.
I was a member of my high school's band when it was invited to play in President Nixon's first inaugural parade. One of the tunes were were rehearsing was Happy Days Are Here Again, but it was inexplicably dropped--probably because it was identified with the Democrats. We replaced it with Gallant Men a hit record for Senator Everett Dirksen--a Republican.
Has the Kenyan cut the Marine band, The President’s Own? After over 200 years of tradition, it wouldn’t surprise me, but the article didn’t exactly say that. One of the posters at the end of the article implied that. The article is about one member, and this could be his last performance because of age & retirement.
No, the PO has not been cut, but it would be affected by sequestration in the same way the entire military would be impacted.
They have had to cut their budget and only do national tours for half the time they used to - one month now instead of two.
Democrats are always trying to get rid of the military bands - attaching cuts to bills. But so far, they haven’t gotten anywhere.
I hope they play Sousa’s “El Capitan”. If you know the words, it’ll all make sense.
El Capitan - http://archive.org/details/colbwnyp-11
They usually play Semper Fi. Don’t know what else.