RPCVs march in 1993 Inaugural Parade

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mike Wolfson (Peru 1964-66)



This picture, made as a poster courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, was taken at President Bill Clinton’s inaugural parade on January 20, 1993. The organization was then the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, now the National Peace Corps Association.

Mike borrowed the 6 x 8-foot outdoor flags and 9-foot aluminum flag poles from the U.S. Department of State.  There were, he believes, 110 flags representing all of the countries that Peace Corps volunteers had or were serving in. He had all of these flags and poles in his living room the day before the inauguration where Ken Hill (Turkey 1965-67) and he put country labels on each flag, attached them to the 110 poles, and put them in a truck that Ken stored overnight and took to the parade staging area the next morning. He did not march in the parade but enjoyed watching it on tv.

Let’s hope and work for other opportunities to showcase Peace Corps volunteers and their countries of service in future Presidential inaugural parades.


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    • Ken,

      I didn’t have your email to send it to you directly. Hope you and Winnie are doing well. I am.

      I just heard from Ralph Bates who remembers both of your fondly.

      If you email me I’ll send you his email address.



  • A joyful occasion – with promise of democracy, a more peaceful world and support for the Peace Corps.

    Thank you, Mike and Ken, for your stalwart efforts!

    I think you can find or order this video on C-Span.

  • I’ve been remembering that long, cold, exhilarating day and how different the atmosphere was. As with any RPCV gathering, I was struck by the common positive attitudes of the RPCVs of various backgrounds, generations, and places served.

  • There was a big Peace Corps delegation that marched at Obama’s first inauguration too, organized by NPCA and RPCV-Washington. I carried Côte d’Ivoire’s flag and my brother carried the flag of Madagascar, where he was posted. It was glacially cold but we were all so excited to be there.

  • I remember that day very well. There was such excitement and long waits before we began to really move but it did give us a chance to talk with other RPCVs around us. I was very proud to be carrying the Ethiopian flag as we passed in front of the President. What a difference between then and now. Still, there is hope for the future now and lots of work to be done by all of us to fulfill the purpose of the Peace Corps here at home.

  • I marched carrying the flag of Yemen that cold day, wearing my Muscovite fur hat. The flag of Western Samoa, where I served, was already taken by a local RPCV beside me.

    I recall a moment when this small group of people along side the parade were enthusiastically waving toward me, and I waved back, but realized afterward that they were probably from Yemen, and I should have matched their enthusiasm – lol (LOL wasn’t even a thing back then haha).

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