MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- Since the United States of America claimed its independence from England on July 4, 1776, this date has been celebrated as one of the most significant days in U.S. history.
To this day, men, women and children of all ages stand proud, and many shed tears, as fireworks light the sky with many different shades of colors and shapes while the "Star Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful" songs can be heard in the distance.
This scene was witnessed again recently when thousands of people from all throughout Georgia gathered here to kick off the base's 10th Annual 4th of July Celebration held July 2 at Covella Pond.
The event kicked off at 4 p.m., and lasted through nightfall.
The annual celebration was an all-afternoon festival for all ages. There were games, rides and many activities for the children. There were also live bands and exhibits for the family. Even civilian businesses offered their services and support of the base.
"I was very glad to take part in this celebration," said Cilvia Harden, a Sylvester, Ga., resident. "It made me feel really proud to be here when the fireworks went off, and also made me think of the Marines overseas protecting our freedom at this time."
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officials coordinated the event, along with a helping hand from Marine Corps Community Services and other on and off-base organizations.
According to MCCS director Kent Morrison, more than $10,000 was donated to the base from the local community to cover the cost.
Albany Beverage, Navy Federal Credit Union, Georgia Power, Potter Motor Company and Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progress were specifically noted for their contributions.
Other outside companies, such as Snow Biz, Cici's Pizza, Chick Fil-A, Pa's Place, Snow Cones, Hooters, and Quick Shot Bingo, helped out with the celebration by offering their services and putting up stands to provide food and beverages for all the people to enjoy.
Base organizations provided additional support for the celebration by setting up stands and booths for entertainment, and to help raise money so they may continue supporting Marines stationed here.
The Single Marine Program and MCCS sold food, beverages and snacks. The Albany Marines and the Marine Corps Exchange set up booths for people to stop by and find out more about the base and what services are offered here.
The Albany Marine Band, along with the local band "Lone Ryders," provided entertainment for the celebration.
"This event was a great success, as it is every year," said Karen Hanovich of MCCS Marketing. "Even though it rained at the beginning of the celebration, it didn't seem to stop anybody from having a good time."
There were also many different activities for the children to do. MCCS brought in many different inflatable play areas, including a climbing wall, racetrack, slide and obstacle courses. There were also games, face painting, a Ringling Brothers circus clown, and Little People Petting Zoo to keep the children busy.
"I had a lot of fun today," said eight-year-old Dayanna Abera, an Orlando, Fla., native. "My favorite thing to do was go on the slide and see the petting zoo."
As the day came to a close and more people began to show up, the Lone Ryders played their last song of the night as the lights shut off and the surrounding area became completely dark.
As soon as the last note of the band was hit, the fireworks began to burst into the air and light the night sky with all different colors, as families held each other closely and watched in pure delight.