USAF Band, Honor Guard, Drill Team represent Airmen for Independence Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tabitha N. Haynes
  • Air Force District of Washington
The U.S. Air Force Band and U.S. Air Force Honor Guard celebrated Independence Day July 2-4 in New York, Pennsylvania and the nation's capital.

"Each mission was special in and of itself," said Col. A. Phillip Waite, commander and conductor of The USAF Band, "but collectively these five performances provided the U.S. Air Force an unprecedented opportunity to connect with an enormous number of our citizens during our country's most celebrated anniversary."

The USAF Band performed at five separate events in both New York City and Washington, D.C ., during the Fourth of July weekend, and was slated for two additional missions that were cancelled due to inclement weather.

The USAF Honor Guard parade flight, drill team and colors team participated in five events as well, one being the July 4 National Parade down Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C.

"Whether performing for one or 100,000, we are supremely privileged to represent our Air Force during each and every mission. Our unique capability to dramatically and positively uplift individual listeners brings us tremendous satisfaction as we execute these missions," Waite said.

The USAF band was the opening performance for the Mets vs. Yankees baseball game at Citi Field in New York July 2. The USAF Honor Guard color team presented the nation's flag for the event as well.

Following that New York performance, The USAF Band gave a national audience a sampling of their inspirational music with a live broadcast in Rockefeller Center for NBC's "Today Show."

The Today Show is rated by Nielsen as the number one morning show since 1995, and ranked number 17 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time," said Waite.

"At any given time, there are thousands of Airmen deployed around the globe defending the freedoms proclaimed by our Constitution," said Waite. "It is our privilege, especially on Independence Day, to represent those Airmen to the American public and the world. We hope to portray excellence, and strengthen the faith and trust the American people have in the greatest Air Force on earth."

To conclude the holiday weekend, The USAF Band, Honor Guard and Drill Team performed at the Air Force Memorial, precluding the Washington, D.C., fireworks display July 4.

"Our drills were flawless," said Staff Sgt. Mark Freda, The USAF Honor Guard Drill Team director of operations and ceremonial guardsman. "During our performance, the awe of the crowd matched the intensity to which we were performing. Every member of the team gave all they had to present the best show possible for such an amazing and supportive audience. Standing amongst the crowd in uniform, being thanked by hundreds of U.S. citizens, gave me a sense of pride that cannot be explained in words."

The USAF Band's performance at the Air Force Memorial was one of several from the Summer Concert Series. For more information on concerts and performances in and around the National Capital Region, visit the band's website at