MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Thirty-two members of the Albany Marine Band celebrated Independence Day by performing at the reopening ceremony of the crown of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, July 4.
The crown of the Statue of Liberty was closed after the terrorist attacks on September 11.
On the 4th of July at 4 a.m., the members of the Albany Marine Band prepared to cross the Hudson River to perform for the citizens of New York as their beloved icon was reopened to the public.
Attending the ceremony were: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; New York Governor David Paterson and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine; Senator Robert Menendez (NJ-D); Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner of New York; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute; Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and the French Ambassador to the United States Pierre Vimont.
The band’s first performance of the day was for Good Morning, America Weekend, which was shown throughout their broadcast nationwide.
The first ceremony of the day was a Nationalization Ceremony for seven American service members.
The new citizens included five soldiers, 1 sailor, and 1 Marine; Sgt. Nilton Alonzo Arrubla-Torres, administrative clerk, 1st Marine District in Garden City, New York.
Their final performance at the Statue of Liberty was the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, which included a joint performance of the American National Anthem with Constantine Maroulis, Broadway star of Rock of Ages (5 time Tony nominated) and former American Idol finalist.
“It is quite a privilege to be in the ceremony with the (Albany Marine) Band,” Maroulis said. “I am very proud to be an American today.”
The band also performed the French National Anthem in honor of the French Ambassador and in recognition of the gift France gave to the United States in 1886.
After a busy morning on Liberty Island, the Marines headed straight for the new Yankee Stadium to play the national anthems of Canada and the United States for the game between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Not only is this the inaugural year for the new stadium, this 4th of July also marked the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech.
The New York Yankees have been honoring members of the Armed Forces throughout the season and treated the Marines to field level seats behind home plate and passes to the Legends Lounge.
The day concluded with the opportunity for the Marines to attend the evening’s fireworks display on the decks of the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York Harbor.
It was also the site of the live NBC broadcast of the Macy’s Firework’s Display.
“It was an honor and a privilege to be able to do these performances today here in New York City,” said Sgt. Daniel Hackenberger, platoon guide and percussion section leader, Albany Marine Band. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our nation’s independence.”