Fort Leonard Wood celebrates July 4
July 11, 2014
Fort Leonard Wood held its annual July 4 celebration Friday, inviting surrounding communities to join in the festivities.
According to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials, more than 20,000 individuals came out to help the fort celebrate.
Along with the usual food and games, attendees were treated to music by the 399th Army Band's Rough Riders and Kricket Alley with the final performance by country music artist Chris Young.
Young was brought to the fort by the Air Force Reserve's Tour for the Troops.
With new members being added to the command team, Col. Andrew Herbst, Garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hatfield, Garrison command sergeant major, joined Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major, in the resigning of the Army Family Covenant.
Smith led the crowd in signing happy birthday to the nation before asking for a moment of silence for those military members that have lost their lives defending it.
"This way of life that we have is not for free," Smith said.
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Miller, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Drill Sergeant of the Year, hosted the salute to the nation that had a cannon fire for each one of the states, followed by Sgt. Christiana Ball, drill sergeant and Operation Rising Star winner, singing the National Anthem.
"The Salute Battery will fire 50 rounds, one for each state in the union," Miller said. "The firing of cannons is a uniquely American military tradition which is the highest review that can be given to our country."
The night ended with the area's largest fireworks display. Recycling dollars each year pays for this event.