ANAHEIM, Calif. --
Marines and Sailors from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit marched down East Santa Anna Canyon Road, with the community of Anaheim for their Independence Day Parade, July 4, 2012.
The ‘Fighting 13th’ Color Guard and a platoon-size formation of Marines were led by Col. Christopher D. Taylor, commanding officer of the 13th MEU and Grand Marshall of the Parade.
“Today was a great way for us to show solidarity with our home community of Anaheim,” said Taylor. “The Marines looked exceptional here today. The Parade is a perfect opportunity to show the City of Anaheim, the ancestors of those who helped make this a free country, and these Marines will keep it free. I’d like to express our gratitude as well to the City, our 13th MEU Adoption Committee, Mayor Tom Tait and the council members who’ve opened their doors to us and been so generous.”
As the Marines marched down the mile-long parade route children smiled and waved flags and families clapped and cheered.
“I’m glad to be out here,” said McKay Engh, a 17-year-old resident of Anaheim who is planning to enlist into the Marines next year. “It’s pretty cool seeing them march. These guys look sharp and are a perfect example of America’s finest.”
Some Marines brought their families to the parade and afterward joined them at Peralta Canyon Park where they relaxed with some barbequed food and local hospitality.
“I’m excited and glad to have my wife with me here today,” said Lance Cpl. Charles Sims, an intelligence systems administrator with the 13th MEU. “I felt proud to be marching out here. The residents here have been very gracious. The parade and meeting the citizens of Anaheim was the highlight of our day. It’s also great to see everyone out here reminding me of what we are fighting for.”
The City of Anaheim adopted the Unit in October 2007 and its Adoption Committee has since supported the MEU in numerous ways including, gift baskets for new parents, ball fundraising and their annual Christmas party. The ‘Fighting 13th’ will begin preparing for deployment later this summer as a force in readiness of seagoing Marines.