By Alesis Collins | Fort Knox News contributorJuly 5, 2019
Fort Knox celebrated Independence Day with a Salute to the Nation Ceremony and family fun and fireworks on Brooks Parade Field.
Fort Knox's Directorate of Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation provided a family-friendly environment that Soldiers and civilians alike could enjoy while celebrating the nation's 243rd birthday.
Attendees filled the parade field at 5 p.m., taking advantage of food, inflatable bounce houses, and carnival-style games. Some competed in donut-eating competitions while others sang along to live performances given by the Air National Guard Band of the South and local artist Kevin Jaggers.
The installation honored America's diverse statehood with a Salute to the Nation ceremony at 9 p.m. During the ceremony, Soldiers presented flags for each of the 50 states and six U.S. territories. A salute battery from U.S. Army Cadet Command fired 51 cannon rounds -- one for each state and one for the six U.S. territories.
"This is my first time coming to Fort Knox," said Jo-Anne Baker, from Oklahoma. "My daughter lives here and I'm here with my grandchildren. I've enjoyed the music, and I look forward to seeing the fireworks."
Families sat comfortably in their lawn chairs and laid on their blankets while children played throughout the field while waiting for the firework presentation to commence.
"I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free," Lee Greenwood's words rang through speakers as fireworks suddenly ignited the night sky with vibrant colors. People watched the 20-minute show while cameras flickered to capture each colorful explosion.
Similar to Baker and her grandchildren, Tanya and Michael Bailey said they enjoyed the celebration with their family.
"Our children have a lot of fun, so we come every year to enjoy the fireworks," said Tanya Bailey, while watching her children play with one another.