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Spc. Michael Zuniga of the Army's 10th Mountain Division Band sings at a belated U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Spc. Michael Zuniga of the Army's 10th Mountain Division Band sings at a belated U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. ()
Spc. Michael Zuniga of the Army's 10th Mountain Division Band sings at a belated U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Spc. Michael Zuniga of the Army's 10th Mountain Division Band sings at a belated U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. ()
From left, Spc. Aaron Johnson, Spc. Michael Zuniga, Spc. Nick McDermott and Sgt. 1st Class Walter Washington of the Army's 10th Mountain Division Band perform at a  belated U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
From left, Spc. Aaron Johnson, Spc. Michael Zuniga, Spc. Nick McDermott and Sgt. 1st Class Walter Washington of the Army's 10th Mountain Division Band perform at a belated U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. ()
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Matthew Boarts attends a  U.S. Independence Day celebration at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday, July 8, 2016. The celebration was postponed out of respect for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Matthew Boarts attends a U.S. Independence Day celebration at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday, July 8, 2016. The celebration was postponed out of respect for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. ()
Stephanie Dillon, an Air Force civilian with Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, attended a U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. She said postponing the celebration because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan was respectful and appropriate.
Stephanie Dillon, an Air Force civilian with Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, attended a U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016, at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. She said postponing the celebration because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan was respectful and appropriate. ()
Dining facility supervisor Vince Drennen barbeques meat at Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on July 8, 2016.
Dining facility supervisor Vince Drennen barbeques meat at Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on July 8, 2016. ()
Dining facility supervisor Vince Drennen, right, prepares food for those attending Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration, belatedly held on Friday, July 8, 2016.
Dining facility supervisor Vince Drennen, right, prepares food for those attending Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration, belatedly held on Friday, July 8, 2016. ()
Col. S. Tagliata of Italy, left, Wing Commander W. Gill of Australia and American Capt. A. Lockett share a laugh at Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016.
Col. S. Tagliata of Italy, left, Wing Commander W. Gill of Australia and American Capt. A. Lockett share a laugh at Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016. ()
Gazebo decorated in red, white and blue for Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016.
Gazebo decorated in red, white and blue for Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016. ()
A fruit display at Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016.
A fruit display at Resolute Support's U.S. Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 8, 2016. ()

KABUL, Afghanistan — Americans at NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul celebrated U.S. Independence Day on Friday, four days late out of respect for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Tuesday marked the last day of Ramadan in Afghanistan, a month of fasting and reflection for Muslims that ends with the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The belated American-hosted festivities on base Friday included a barbeque and live music by the Army’s 10th Mountain Division Band.

“It feels like the Fourth of July,” Spc. Aaron Johnson, a trumpeter in the band, said. “Our job is usually to make the soldiers feel like they’re back at home, but performing here makes it feel like we’re back at home, so it’s just been a spectacular day for all of us.”

Troops from other coalition countries and contractors living at Resolute Support headquarters also attended.

Dressed in red, white, and blue, Stephanie Dillon, an Air Force civilian with Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, said postponing the celebration was appropriate.

“It’s great that we show respect for our comrades when our mission is here in their country, and still have the opportunity to celebrate our country’s independence day,” she said.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Matthew Boarts, who addressed the crowd, agreed.

“It’s an important thing: respecting the religious traditions of others, so that they can join in with us. Now, we celebrate together,” he said. “Today reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for as we serve the people of Afghanistan and look forward to peace in this land.”

wellman.phillip@stripes.com Twitter: @PhillipWellman

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Phillip is a reporter and photographer for Stars and Stripes, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. From 2016 to 2021, he covered the war in Afghanistan from Stripes’ Kabul bureau. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.
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