The Veterans Day Parade, for Everyone

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The Veterans Day Parade
Cornell Murphy - veteran

“I was never able to take a Veterans Day off. Rent’s gotta be paid, bills gotta be paid...”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people march in Veterans Day Parades across the United States to commemorate the service of veterans to America.

But in these parades, there is often a conspicuous absence: disabled veterans who cannot be there. Google decided to bring the parade to them by filming the largest parade in the United States - America’s Parade, the Veterans Day Parade in New York City - in 360 and taking that viewing experience to disabled veterans in hospitals around the country.

Google partnered with Lonelyleap to tell the story of the Virtual March. Together, we showed how Google tried to ensure that every veteran got to experience the gratitude of the American people.

Cornell Murphy - veteran

“The most exciting part about a parade, since this was my very first one, was the enthusiasm from the public.”

Before we filmed the parade, we took a trip to St. Albans Veterans Hospital in Queens, New York and spent an afternoon with the veterans. We wanted to get to know them, hear their stories and understand their daily life in the hospital. This process helped us to discover the best way to tell their stories and imbued in us the importance of bringing the parade to these brave men and women.

James Reid - Google

“I’m also a veteran - served in the army for twenty-five years. So it’s personal for me. This means a lot.”

Lonelyleap filmed the 360 video capture at America's Parade in New York City and embedded ourselves within the parade to capture the on-the-ground feeling the veterans would experience. A few days later, we returned to St. Albans Veterans Hospital with the Google team to document the veterans’ experience as they watched the parade using Google Cardboard. We also partnered with a team in San Francisco that filmed a viewing party in Palo Alto. Together with Google’s creative lead, we produced a moving video that documents the story of the Virtual March.

Cornell Murphy - veteran

“It was something that I always wanted to do - be in a Veteran’s Day Parade. Be in My Parade.”

Alex Kowalski - veteran

“I was moving in the parade. It was just great seeing all these people there moving around me.”

The film garnered over 15 million views on Facebook and YouTube and received over 100,000 likes and shares on Facebook.


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