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Marine Corps Base Quantico

"Crossroads of the Marine Corps"

Independence Day brings crowds of all ages to Lejeune Field

By Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite | Marine Corps Base Quantico | July 04, 2014

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Caleb, 7, and Abby, 10, siblings,  race to the top of the rock wall during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. DOD cardholders and their guests started gathering for the festivities at 3 p.m. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite/Released)

Caleb, 7, and Abby, 10, siblings, race to the top of the rock wall during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. DOD cardholders and their guests started gathering for the festivities at 3 p.m. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite/Released) (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite)


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Alayjah, 2, screeches in excitement as Nancy Bentley, her mother, sends bubbles her way during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 14, 2014.

Alayjah, 2, screeches in excitement as Nancy Bentley, her mother, sends bubbles her way during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 14, 2014. (Photo by Rebekka Heite)


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Jeremiah's Kansas City-style BBQ provided food and non-alcoholic beverages during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014.

Jeremiah's Kansas City-style BBQ provided food and non-alcoholic beverages during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. (Photo by Rebekka Heite )


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The American Red Cross gave out Girl Scout cookies during the Independence Day Celebration at Lejeune Field on July 4, 2014.

The American Red Cross gave out Girl Scout cookies during the Independence Day Celebration at Lejeune Field on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Rebekka Heite )


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The American Red Cross gave out Girl Scout cookies during the Independence Day Celebration at Lejeune Field on July 4, 2014.

The American Red Cross gave out Girl Scout cookies during the Independence Day Celebration at Lejeune Field on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Rebekka Heite )


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The Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014, had something for everyone: from relaxing in lawn chairs listening to a live band to climping a rock wall to racing through an inflatable obstacle course. Food vendors and the Red Cross were also on site providing needed food and beverages.

The Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014, had something for everyone: from relaxing in lawn chairs listening to a live band to climping a rock wall to racing through an inflatable obstacle course. Food vendors and the Red Cross were also on site providing needed food and beverages. (Photo by Rebekka Heite)


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The Bittersweet Band perform live during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014.

The Bittersweet Band perform live during the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite )


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The line leading to the rock wall grew exponentially as the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014, progressed. The concluded with a fireworks display.

The line leading to the rock wall grew exponentially as the Independence Day celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014, progressed. The concluded with a fireworks display. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite)


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Caleb, 7, coasts back to the ground after reaching the top of the rock wall during the Independence Day Celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. The rock wall was one of many activities available for entertainment as patrons waited for the fireworks to begin.

Caleb, 7, coasts back to the ground after reaching the top of the rock wall during the Independence Day Celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. The rock wall was one of many activities available for entertainment as patrons waited for the fireworks to begin. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite )


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Mellissa Matuewezski, participant, gets a temporary airbrush tattoo at the Independence Day Celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. In addition to the temporary tattoo artist, there was a moon bounce, inflatable obstacle course, rock wall, food vendors and a live, local band at the celebration.

Mellissa Matuewezski, participant, gets a temporary airbrush tattoo at the Independence Day Celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. In addition to the temporary tattoo artist, there was a moon bounce, inflatable obstacle course, rock wall, food vendors and a live, local band at the celebration. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite )


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Children bounce in the moon bounce as their parents watch during the Independence Day Celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. The celebration started at 3 p.m. and went until 9:30 p.m.

Children bounce in the moon bounce as their parents watch during the Independence Day Celebration on Lejeune Field July 4, 2014. The celebration started at 3 p.m. and went until 9:30 p.m. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite )


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Eliana, 4, slides down the last obstacle of the inflatable obstacle course on Lejeune Field during the Marine Corps Base Quantico Independence Day celebration on July 4, 2014. This was the first July 4 celebration the base has hosted in years due to Lunga Reservoir being closed and last year's furloughs.

Eliana, 4, slides down the last obstacle of the inflatable obstacle course on Lejeune Field during the Marine Corps Base Quantico Independence Day celebration on July 4, 2014. This was the first July 4 celebration the base has hosted in years due to Lunga Reservoir being closed and last year's furloughs. (Photo by Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite)


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MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO --

More than 2,000 people gathered on Lejeune Field on Friday for the 30th Annual Independence Day Celebration hosted by Marine Corps Base Quantico.

It was the first time in more than two years that Marine Corps Base Quantico has hosted an Independence Day Celebration complete with fireworks. Last year’s celebration was cancelled due to the furloughs while the 2012 celebration lacked a fireworks display due to Lunga Reservoir remaining closed.

"It was great to be able to afford this opportunity to our military community and to see so many service members and families come out and enjoy the evening. After the closure of Lunga and the effects of sequestration last year, we look forward to continuing this in the future," said Col. David W. Maxwell, base commander.

For entertainment DJ Manny V and the Bittersweet Band provided a musical background as children raced through the inflatable obstacle course, climbed the rock wall, bounced in the moon bounce and played video games in the game truck. Adults and children alike could buy food from Jeremiah’s Kansas City Style BBQ and cool down with an icy treat from Kona-Ice. There was also a temporary tattoo artist on scene.

The Red Cross was handed out free boxes of Girl Scout cookies, complete with a handwritten/drawn note from a child in the troop who had donated the cookies.

The event ended with a fireworks display shot from the traffic circle near the 50 meter pool.

"I also want to thank MCCS and Security Battalion for their support in pulling it all together, and making it a safe and fun event for all," Maxwell said.

The event attracted not only the Marines and their families from base, but retirees and their families from the surrounding communities.

"My wife, our Baltimore-based daughter and I came to [Friday’s] fireworks show," said Charles Metcalf, a retired U.S. Army Reserves major, in an email. "It was awesome. Thanks for sponsoring and continuing an American tradition."

Metcalf wasn’t the only one interested in preserving tradition.

"I wanted to come out here to help keep the tradition alive," said Cpl. Michael Hough, on temporary assignment as a military policeman with Security Battalion. "Society is shaken. Everyone thinks the American dream is dead; it’s not. Coming out here we get to look at the flag some more and come together as Americans. Not as military members…, but as Americans."

Shantae Webster, participant, seconded that idea.

"It’s good to celebrate the USA," she said. "What better place to celebrate than a military base?"

— Correspondent: Rebekka.Heite@usmc.mil



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