Editor’s note: this is part of an ongoing series of photo essays by photographer Jesse Louie. You can read his introductory note here.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year since the US women’s national team went on their historic run to secure their 4th World Cup Championship. This group of tea-sipping trailblazers captivated an entire nation, match after match, with their sheer brilliance on and off the field.
And so, when they returned home in the days after accomplishing their ultimate goal, it was only fitting to welcome them back in a lavish and luxurious style.
Royalty deserves a proper ceremony, and New York City was ready to celebrate with their queens.
A sea of confetti cascaded down from the sky, blanketing Broadway like a snowy blizzard in the middle of summer. Tens of thousands of people sandwiched between sidewalks and barricades packed the streets for hours, just to be in the presence of greatness.
As the floats made their way down the Canyon Of Heroes parade route — the same route reserved for soldiers, politicians, astronauts, and local sports franchises — fans of all ages waved their flags, stomped their feet, and blared out chants of “USA!” and “Equal Pay!”
This team’s ability to unite and inspire people to keep fighting is the very reason why so many people showed up on that Wednesday morning. I was one of them. And as I stood on the corner enjoying every second of it, it was apparent that this parade wasn’t celebrating a specific ‘moment,’ but a united and ongoing national movement.