Austin Hutchison, 7 and Jasmine Grey, 7, play with a cannon, while Sgt. Michael Robinson, Pfc. Ivan Sehovic and Spc. Gestoni Ramagoza, all cannoneers with 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, look on, July 3, at the Salute to the Nation, at Cottrell Field.

FORT STEWART, Ga. - On July 3, at Cottrell Field, Third Infantry Division held a Salute to the Nation. The event featured Soldiers from First Heavy Brigade Combat Team putting flags at the center of the field from each American state, territory and the District of Columbia, and Soldiers from First Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st HBCT firing a cannon as each flag was put in place. Major General Robert "Abe" Abrams, Third Infantry Division commanding general, alongside 3rd ID Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson, addressed the crowd and the meaning of the Fourth of July.

“Tomorrow we gladly celebrate America’s independence, 235 years of freedom,” he said. “Take your time to reflect on how we got here. America’s Army was born a year earlier in 1775 at a time of crisis.”

Major General Abrams added that the U.S. Army was different from any other Army in the world at that point because it did not impose the will of a monarch or a dictator on its people.

“The Army existed for the people, for the nation and for the cause of liberty and justice for all,” he continued. Our Army has answered that call since 1775 whenever and wherever it was needed.”

Sergeant First Class Joseph English, with 1st HBCT, helped organize the event. He said the Soldiers who put the show together did an excellent job and made for an excellent show
“It was a terrific event,” he said. “It’s good we give back to our community like this.”

For Sergeant First Class English, this was a bittersweet day, as he was retiring next week after 20 years of service.

Despite that, he was optimistic about the future and very happy he served.

“I’d do it all again,” he said.

After the ceremony, the public had the opportunity to meet and greet with Soldiers who participated in the event. They were able to gain insight to the effort put forth in the Salute to the Nation.

The ceremony was part of the Fourth of July Festivities that the 3rd ID and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield put on for Soldiers and the surrounding communities to honor America’s birth.

Page last updated Thu July 7th, 2011 at 09:40