On a warm summer night friends and family, young and old gather to celebrate. The sounds of live music, excited chatter and laughter fill the air as children leap and bound with glow sticks in hand; a precursor to the spectacular fireworks display that will soon illuminate the desert sky.
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Marines, family members and friends joined the Morongo Basin community to celebrate Independence Day at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and Brehm Youth Sports Park in Yucca Valley, Calif., July 4, 2016.
The Combat Center Color Guard participated in the Tucca Valley celebration; presenting the colors while the national anthem played and the Headquarters Battalion Color Guard participated in the Twentynine Palms celebration. Additionally, communities synchronized their firework displays to music provided by local radio station, Z101.7.
“We want to be able to show our service members our appreciation,” said Robin Schlosser, executive director, Reach Out Morongo Basin. “Many of these Marines and sailors are far away from home and we want them to feel like family here in the community. This is a great way to get both communities to interact.”
Each community’s celebration included food and other vendors, live entertainment by bands On Tapp and Desert Sol, bounce houses and booths offering face painting. The night came to a close with a synchronized crescendo of light and sound that reached acorss the Morongo Valley Basin from Yucca Valley to Twentynine Palms.
“It’s nice to know the communities support us,” said Cpl. Armando Gonzalez, welder, 1st Tank Battalion. “The coordination with Z101.7 radio station and Yucca Valley was amazing; they had one of the best firework shows I’ve seen.”