USA

US Independence Day: Gloucester Cathedral Chimes For American NATO Troops

The US national anthem rang through the city on 4 July - American Independence Day.

US Army soldiers serving with NATO in Gloucester have marked Independence Day as the bells of the city’s cathedral chimed the American national anthem.

The occasion also marked 10 years of US forces, in the historic UK city, as part of NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).

Major Mike Woodhouse of the US Army commanded the parade at College Green, in front of Gloucester Cathedral. 

“Today we’re gathering to celebrate Independence Day, and to celebrate the connection that America and our national anthem has with Gloucester," he said.

“It shows the respect between our nations, that they’re able to do this to celebrate the ties the Americans and the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps has with the Gloucester community.”

US Army troops based in Gloucester represent one of 21 nations serving with NATO’s ARRC.

The British-led unit moved there from its former base in Germany exactly a decade ago.

Ahead of 4 July this year, the American soldiers visited the cathedral to hear a separate rendition of their anthem and receive a blessing from the Dean of Gloucester.

Staff Sergeant Shamaire Carrizal, who serves in the Corps headquarters, said: "Any time I hear the national anthem immediately it brings tears, it’s such a beautiful song.

"It’s really nice to find out that the national anthem originally started out as a drinking song for the British."

Cover image: US Army soldiers visit Gloucester Cathedral (Picture: WO2 Mark Nesbit/British Army).