Fort Jackson Basic Combat Training trainees watch the grand finale of the 4th of July Independence Day celebration fireworks display July 2 at Hilton Field.

Night lights up at Independence Day Celebration

By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Independence Day fireworks returned to Fort Jackson and local Columbia, South Carolina, community July 2 after a five-year hiatus.

“There are 8,000 of you out here representing Fort Jackson and the United States Army,” shouted Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commanding general, from the stage. "I am so proud of all that you do to defend our country and that’s why we’re all here.”

Soldiers and trainees are often found at Hilton Field celebrating graduation ceremonies. On Saturday, they filled the field alongside civilians, retirees and local area community members to celebrate the nation’s freedoms with a variety of activities.

Throughout the day food trucks served a variety of snacks and drinks, children rode rides and jumped around inflatables in the children’s play area, and Families were found setting up foldable chairs and blankets as they enjoyed picnics.

“We welcome you back to Fort Jackson after a hiatus of five-years,” Michaelis added. “Let's have a great show tonight and enjoy yourselves.”

Fort Jackson’s fireworks display was moved to June those five years ago that Michaelis spoke about to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of Fort Jackson. From 2020 to 2021, the fireworks displays were canceled as the world battled against the spread of the COVID-19 virus by canceling or postponing all public gatherings.

Now returned, event planners came together to present a bigger and better celebration. In addition to the food trucks, games, and children play area, musical acts by local Navy veteran Brooks Herring who opened for the show’s headliner Breland.

“I’m really excited to be here today,” Breland said. “To be able to celebrate with the people who stepped up to serve America was a no brainer. This, by far, has been one of the coolest opportunities to play a show.”

Once Herring and Breland completed their shows, the 282nd Army Band filled the stage, playing a variety of patriotic music synchronized to a cannon salute battery and the fireworks display.

Attendees across the field were silhouetted as red, white, blue and gold as explosions lit up the night sky.

“U.S.A, U.S.A.,” could be heard as attendees shouted throughout the display.

The show lasted more than 30 minutes as all eyes peered toward the skyline. “You asked for it and we listened,” Michaelis said. “We hope you enjoy it.”