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Marines with the Combat Center Color guard hold the national and Marine Corps colors in place during the playing of the national anthem at the University of Redlands April 12, 2014. The symphony was held in honor of service members and the upcoming 70th anniversary of the landing at Normandy, also known as D-Day.

Photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi

Night of music features Combat Center Color Guard

12 Apr 2014 | Cpl.Ali Azimi

June marks 70 years since the Normandy landing during World War II. Also known as D-Day, it was a decisive battle during the war that struck a blow to German forces, which they never recovered from. To pay tribute to the thousands of lives lost during the landing, the University of Redlands held a symphony to honor service members and the anniversary.

The Combat Center Color Guard was featured during the symphony held at the university to honor the service members, April 12, 2014

“This is the final concert of our 2013-1014 season,” said Paul Ideker, president, Redlands Symphony Association. “We are very pleased to be a part of this very important celebration of an important part of our history.”

More than 1,000 people stood as the color guard entered the auditorium. The Marines were first introduced then walked in step in front of the audience. As the first note of the national anthem was played, the Marine Corps colors were slightly lowered to allow the United States flag to fly higher to signify the Marine Corps’ allegiance to this nation.

After the ceremony, the Marines were then invited to stay for the performance by the Redlands Symphony. The music was specially chosen to fit the theme.

“All of the music is depicting what occurred during World War II,” said Jon Robertson, music director and conductor, Redlands Symphony. “We thought this would be a wonderful time to say thank you to the armed forces who sacrifice so that life can be better for us.”

Approximately 80 musicians played songs to commemorate the sacrifices made by service members of that era.

“It’s a very sobering kind of thing,” Robertson said. “It’s not about joy or sadness, its about gratitude, about being thankful. That’s a very wonderful emotion because it allows you to look at the past and also look at the future.”

With the music of the orchestra still lingering in the air, the Marines left the concert with the appreciation and thanks of those around them.

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