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