The Ohio State School for the Blind marching band will perform Monday, May 25, during the 2015 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

The Ohio State School for the Blind marching band will perform Monday, May 25, during the 2015 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

The band was invited to participate by parade organizer the American Veterans Center.

Director Carol Agler said the band will perform This is My Country, which was part of its football halftime show last fall.

A significant fundraising and organizational effort will be worth it, Agler said, as marching in the parade will be just part of the trip. Other activities will include a U.S. Marine Band performance, visits to the Smithsonian museums and a tour of many of the U.S. capital's memorials.

The band also will perform its halftime show for veterans at the Air Force Memorial.

"It's going to be fun, like a second senior trip," senior drummer Rae'Don Hayes said.

"It's quite an honor for the school to be invited to this event," Interim Principal Jeff Reinhard said. "For the kids and their families to have the kind of experience they're going to have is special.

"It's also a statement that says, 'We are able.' We carry that flag not only for the school but for all of Ohio and all young people who might not always have the same opportunities."

In the past, the band -- the only marching band of blind and visually impaired students in the country -- has marched in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade, the 2011 Lions Club International Parade and 2012 Great Michigan Parade. The band has performed a "Double Ohio" with the Ohio State University Marching Band, featuring a Braille Ohio alongside the OSU band's trademark Script Ohio.

The band's awards include a Creative Use of Braille award from the American Printing House for the Blind and a national citation from the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity.

"One of the things we wanted to do was to raise expectations, not only of what the students could do but what other people could expect of them," Agler said.