FORT STEWART, Ga.- Soldiers, Families and members of the community gathered to attend the 2023 Marne Independence Day Celebration on Donovan Field at Fort Stewart, July 1, 2023.
Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program hosted the event, which consisted of food vendors, booths with local businesses, free activities, musical performances, and a fireworks show.
“This year’s event was focused on celebrating the birth of our nation and to recognize the dedication and resilience of our military community,” said Matthew Tyler Gierber, deputy director of Family and MWR. “Family and MWR takes great pride in providing entertainment and services to our military community.”
Once the concert area opened up, attendees rushed to the stage where the musical performances took place. The opening act was DJ Black Rhino, who played a variety of music and got the audience excited for the upcoming musicians.
Maj. Gen. Christopher R. Norrie, commander of 3rd Infantry Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Reffeor, senior enlisted advisor of 3rd ID, welcomed all who gathered for the concert. This was the first year of the celebration that Norrie and Reffeor were the commander and senior enlisted of 3rd ID.
“My name is Chris Norrie, and I am a proud Dogface Soldier like everyone of you,” he said to the gathered crowd. “This entire moment, all of tonight, was assembled just for you, and we are proud and happy to have you here.”
The commanding general also explained the division’s history and acknowledged the Gold Star Families who have had Soldiers lose their lives in the line of duty. Afterwards, Sgt. Michael Saias, assigned to the 3rd ID Band, took the stage to sing the Star Spangled Banner.
During the concert portion of the event, the R&B group Dru Hill and country music artist Chris Cagle performed while fans danced and sang along. Once the musical performances ended and the sky was dark, the fireworks show began, concluding a celebration that lasted more than seven hours.
Norrie thanked everyone who contributed to the event, including 3rd ID’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Family and MWR and the musical performers.
The 3rd ID’s Band will continue celebrating Independence Day with the local community by performing at the Savannah Waterfront Independence Day Celebration, July 4, 2023, maintaining 3rd ID’s relationship with community members.