Save Your Seat to France in 2024


by Buffy Lockette

As the world marks the 78th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, JSU’s Marching Southerners will begin taking reservations for the band’s 2024 trip to Normandy to observe the 80th anniversary of the day that changed the course of World War II. 

Graphic with Eiffel Tower The world renowned marching band will travel to France in two years to perform in ceremonies and events honoring the anniversary of D-Day. They will participate in services at St. James American Cemetery and Normandy American Cemetery and march in a parade in the first village liberated by American troops, Sainte-Mere-Eglise. 

“This will be an amazing experience for our students,” said Dr. Ken Bodiford, JSU director of bands. “We are honored to help salute the brave men and women who fought to liberate Western Europe and turn the tide of World War II.”  

This is not the first time the Southerners have crossed oceans to perform. They led the parade celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in London in 2012, participated in the 75 anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 2016 and marched in the World Peace Day Parade at the Vatican in 2019. 

As with previous trips, all JSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and fans are welcome to accompany the Marching Southerners as they participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A tentative itinerary and reservation information is available on the trip website