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Wet Weather Kept Musicians Out of Constitution Gala : Marines Sorry They Let Band Rain on Parade

October 28, 1987|Associated Press

LEOMINSTER, Mass. — A Marine Corps colonel has apologized for his band's refusal to march because of rain in a parade last month honoring the 200th anniversary of the Constitution.

"Looking at it in retrospect, it was not the best decision," Col. R. C. McInteer, chief of staff at the Parris Island, S.C., Marine base, wrote. "The band could, and in my opinion should, have marched in the parade."

The letter, dated Oct. 7, was sent to the parade chairman, Victor W. Leger, who was on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment, his secretary said today.

Leger had written the base commanding officer complaining that the band had refused to march in a Sept. 20 parade to honor the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. The parade was sponsored by the cities of Leominster, Fitchburg and Gardner.

At the time, he said, he was told, "Marines do not march in parades if it is raining prior to the start of the parade; we do not want to get our instruments wet and we did not take our raincoats with us."

Leger said he had warned a Marine official before the band left for Leominster to prepare for bad weather.

He said the incident had disappointed "citizens who could not believe that the Marines would let rain stop them from marching."

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