Fort of July

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Photo gallery

Rockets’ red glare: A volley of fireworks erupts over the Narrows during Army base’s Independence Day celebration.
Original sin-sation: Motown sensations The Tempations — including founding member Dennis Edwards, right — groove through a show for the troops, their families, and the soul-loving public.
Light up the sky: The majestic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge had some competition as the fort launched a dazzling fireworks display.
Superlative: The Supremes prove the group’s name is more apt than ever during their performance.
Showing her stripes: True patriot Sahara Herschtein is decked out in head-to-toe red, white, and blue.

Independence Day came early in Fort Hamilton.

Brooklyn’s Army base threw America an early birthday bash with food, fireworks, and a Motown revue on July 3. The sky candy was a treat, but performances by soul pioneers The Supremes and The Temptations took the cake, one spectator said.

“It was a blast from the past with the Temptations and Supremes,” said Maria Liza Camitan-Herschtein, who came from New Jersey for the show. “I’ve never had that particular experience before. I used to just watch them on TV.”

And the bluff overlooking the Narrows was the ideal place to peer at pyrotechnics once the sun set, another party-goer said.

“It was the perfect spot to watch the fireworks,” said Donna Mangone of Long Island. “We’ve seen displays before, but this was the best because you’re really close.”

There was also food and beer for soldiers and their families, but the celebration maintained the composure one would expect at an Army installation, Mangone said.

“It was like a real family event,” she said. “People weren’t sitting there getting sloshed.”

And the show brought people together — even if they weren’t in the same time zone.

“I was face-timing my husband, who is still stationed in California, so he wouldn’t miss the show,” Camitan-Herschtein said, referring popular video call app.

The Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation division sponsored the show.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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