WASHINGTON (WJTV) — Commanders in Chief change every four to eight years, but The United States Navy Band has been part of Inauguration Day since 1925.
This certainly won’t be Laura Grantier’s first parade. The Senior Chief Petty Officer from Natchez has been in the Navy Band for 21 years. She says inaugurations are always exciting, even if they’re uncharted waters.
Service members had been a part of every Inauguration Day since the first one back in 1789. This week’s inauguration will be the 23rd for Navy Band.
On Friday, Senior Chief Petty Officer Laura Grantier of Natchez will be in D.C. with her clarinet.
“The Navy Band participates in every presidential inaugural, so I’ve participated in 5 of the 6 inaugurals so far,” she said.
The Navy Band is nicknamed the World’s Finest. All 99 pieces have to sound good together and good outside. That takes a lifetime in music and weeks of practice.
“We have a couple of pieces that we’ll be playing,” she said. “One is Anchors Away. The other is Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean. We will be performing those in the Inaugural Parade.”
In all, an estimated 15,000 military men and women will be in our Washington serving in some capacity during the inauguration.
“It’s just exciting to see so many people who will be marching, performing, bands from all over the country, high school bands, college bands, so it’s really kind of a cool thing to participate in.”
Grantier is looking forward to a long day, but a good day.
“So it’s good to represent the State of Mississippi.”
Senior Chief Petty Officer Grantier believes music is a wonderful way to honor our service men and women. She calls it a universal language.
And if you were wondering, the band practiced for the inaugural at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. That was the long-time home of the Washington Redskins.