Turns out, there’s more than one reason to let freedom ring today.
Each year on June 14, we commemorate the birthday of the Stars and Stripes as our nation's official banner, which was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. But, it also marks the historical birthday of the United States Army, as well as our current commander in chief. How fitting that on a day where we recognize and boldly display our pride in our country, with the raising of this glorious symbol of hope, we also get to celebrate the brave servicemen and women working tirelessly to defend it.
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Just a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Continental Congress passed this resolution in 1775:
Resolved, that six companies of expert riflemen, be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia;... [and] that each company, as soon as completed [sic], shall march and join the army near Boston, to be there employed as light infantry, under command of the chief Officer in that army.
Thus, the Continental Army was born, becoming the first and, 242 years later, the oldest national institution. Currently, more than one million American soldiers serve in the Army, including those on active duty, in the Army Reserve, and in the National Guard.
As it goes with special occasions, the day will include Army Balls at military bases across the country and, of course, cake. Here's a list of some of those local events in various communities in the South. Beyond the celebratory “hooah” and traditional ceremonies, we should all take a moment to not only recognize the U.S. flag, but also those courageous men and women who have dedicated their lives to saluting it, serving it, and, in some cases, dying for it to protect our freedom and liberty.
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The theme of this year's birthday is "Over there: A Celebration of the World War 1 Soldier," which pays homage to the centennial anniversary of WWI and the soldiers who fought on the front lines.