What would Ronald Reagan have given to hear John Philip Sousa played in Red Square?
When someone called to strike up a stirring military march for a parade through central Moscow, hardly anyone ever imagined it would be "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
Or that the Stars and Stripes itself, hoisted aloft by an Army sergeant, would lead the U.S. Army Europe Band up the Russian capital's main thoroughfare, past cheering crowds, to greet a train full of Russian war veterans.
"I've met every president. I've met hundreds of kings and queens. But marching through Moscow behind three of my soldiers carrying the American flag is pretty much the highlight of my career," said Lt. Col. Thomas H. Palmatier, commander of the Army band, which came here along with President Bush and other U.S. officials to help mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
"We played inside the Kremlin walls! We played 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' on the streets of Moscow! It was a pretty emotional experience," Palmatier said.