The domino theory of parade rest

It would be nice to at least see a parade while standing at parade rest.

This photo brought back memories. I remember a sweltering June day circa 1976 in Gulfport, Miss., when I was standing on a “grinder,” or big, concrete parade field for a Navy change of command ceremony. The Navy district band from New Orleans was supposed to have been there. But they had to cancel because the then president of France was visiting their city. So we had playing all those Sousa marches, the high school band and twirlers from nearby Long Beach (Miss.) High School. It appeared that either some of the twirlers didn’t know or just forgot that one is not to stand stiff at parade rest (legs at an inverted “V” and both elbows out behind the back as the sailors in the above picture). Not moving can cause a restriction in blood flow, as it did for some of the poor twirlers, especially on such a hot, humid day. They started tumbling over like dominoes.

The sailors in this photo taken by Navy Photographer’s Mate Airman Richard Waite are at parade rest during a May 5 change of command ceremony on board the nuclear carrier U.S.S. Stennis in Bremerton, Wash. I hope these sailors didn’t forget to move their legs a little as the stood at parade rest.

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