News: Constitution Day: JBLE community celebrates nation’s earliest defenders of freedom
Story by Airman 1st Class Victoria Taylor
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. - Soldiers from the Training and Doctrine Command Band and airmen from the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band performed at the 5th annual Constitution Day Concert in Merchant Square in Williamsburg, Va., Sept. 17.
The event paid tribute to the earliest defenders of America’s freedom and celebrated the founding of the U.S. Constitution through classic music and spoken word with the community. This year not only marked the event’s fifth year, but also the fifth year of the AFHOA Band as well as the third year has performed with the TRADOC Band.
The “To Support and Defend” themed concert event featured the combined ensemble playing a 90-minute set of patriotic songs including “The American Dream,” “The Virginians,” and “America the Beautiful” in honor of Constitution Day.
In addition to the ensemble’s performance, the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps, dressed in their distinct red uniforms, should the spotlight by performing striking melodies used as rallying cries by America’s earliest defenders.
The evening’s host, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David D. Halverson, TRADOC deputy commanding general, led a moment of silence for those who lost their lives during the recent naval yard shootings before introducing both bands and kicking off the night’s festivities.
“I look forward to these events because it gives us the opportunity to play as a joint base band,” said Andy Moon, TRADOC Band French horn player. “It’s great to be able to reach out and give back to a community that shows so much support.”
Local community members camped out in lawn chairs in the hundreds, filling the Duke of Gloucester Street’s red brick road. Stores lining the square opened their balconies and patrons packed the café facing the stage just to get a glimpse of the band.
“Williamsburg has a great history and is extremely valuable to our service members and to Constitution Day,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Justin Lewis, AFHOA Band flight commander. “We aren’t just celebrating the anniversary of its signage, we are celebrating our ability to support and defend that constitution.”
Throughout the show, narrations by Colonial Williamsburg actors, Ron Carnegie as George Washington and Bryan Austin as James Madison, featured powerful quotes from individuals who played significant roles in the shaping of America’s Constitution.
“I think it’s fabulous to have events like these to remind us of the loyalty to this nation our service members give,” said Dianne Colton, a Williamsburg resident. “We have a lot of military in this area and it’s important to recognize their sacrifices.”
For more information about the AFHOA Band, visit www.heritageofamericaband.af.mil. To learn more about the TRADOC Band, visit www.tradocband.com.
This work, Constitution Day: JBLE community celebrates nation’s earliest defenders of freedom, by A1C Victoria Taylor, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.