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Fourth on the First with the Third rocks the house at First Baptist Church, Pembroke
140701 TMC pembroke4th-11
The 3rd Infantry Division Bands brass band plays at the Celebrating the Fourth with the 3rd on the 1st at the Pembroke First Baptist Church, Tuesday. The brass bands slogan is hearing protection required.

 The 3rd infantry division band, “the Rhythm of the Marne,” put on a free concert for a packed Pembroke First Baptist Church at the city’s annual Fourth of July salute “Celebrating the Fourth with the Third on the 1st,” Tuesday.

Soldiers past and present were also recognized for their service to our county.

In particular, World War II veterans were asked to stand individually and be honored for their service.

The concert kicked things off with the brass band and a warning: “hearing protection required.”

The band played several songs, including a rendition of “Thriller,” where the soldiers got off the stage and danced in the crowd.

Things then slowed down a bit with a performance by the jazz combo.

The ceremonial band finished things up with patriotic songs, including a medley of the songs of the different branches of the military, asking people who had served or were related to someone who had served to stand up when their song was played.

Sonny Dixon was the master of ceremonies for the evening, bringing down the house with his humor and love for the 3rd ID band.

“I’m very sincere about it,” Dixon said, “a lot of military bands are stiff, but this band, the Rhythm of the Marne, knows how to reach down and show that a soldier is a person, just like them.”

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jared Delaney said the band is special because “when the public thinks of the military they think of tanks, helicopters and war, which are a necessity, but what we can do is be the face of the Army and go into the public.”

Major General and Mrs. Mike Murray were in attendance and Murray said events like these are important because “63 percent of Fort Stewart soldiers live these communities and its important to give back to those communities.”

Mayor Mary Warnell started and had coordinated the event for the past four years.

She said it used to be a church picnic and she thought it was missing music so she called Fort Stewart to see if they could start performing. They were available on the 1st for 2011 and that’s how the tradition got started.

She said she started the event because she has always loved patriotic music and would flip between channels to watch all the different Fourth of July celebrations, and thought “one couldn’t we have one of these in Pembroke.”

Travis Moore, the minister of music for First Baptist Church, conducted the national anthem, and “Country Tis of Thee/God Bless America.” The mixed ensemble choral group at First Baptist preformed “Truth is Marching On.”

Rev. Matt Avera of First Baptist gave the invocation, Dr. Brad Butler, senior pastor at First Baptist, gave the welcome, and Warnell gave the greetings. Dixon recognized the guests and VIPs.

James Hay, Robert Quattlebaum and Lannie Lee were recognized for their service in World War II.  

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