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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Virginia Airborne Day

WHEREAS, the dedication and courage of our airborne forces have played a critical role in the defense of the United States of America and our freedoms; and

WHEREAS, the 48 volunteer members of the United States Army Parachute Test Platoon made their first jump on August 16, 1940, thus adding a new and innovative method in conducting combat operations which contributed to an allied victory in World War II; and

WHEREAS, the original 48-member United States Army Parachute Test Platoon grew to become a force of more than 100,000 paratroopers assigned to the Airborne Divisions; and

WHEREAS, the elite airborne ranks include prestigious groups such as the 82nd Airborne Division, "America's Guard of Honor," and the "Screaming Eagles" of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); and

WHEREAS, airborne forces have also been represented in the former 11th, 13th, and 17th Airborne Divisions and numerous other airborne, glider, and air assault units and regiments; and

WHEREAS, paratroopers in the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and other Special Forces units are prepared to conduct swift and effective operations in defense of peace and freedom; and

WHEREAS, the American paratrooper has fought to defend against tyranny and repression around the world with deployments to Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan; and

WHEREAS, airborne combat continues to be driven by the bravery and daring spirit of sky soldiers who are often called into action with little notice and have earned an enduring reputation for dedication, excellence, and honor; and

WHEREAS, candidates for airborne school must fulfill age requirements, pass medical and physical tests, and, once admitted, they must pass a three-week intensive course and prove competency with five successful jumps; and

WHEREAS, in 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed August 16th as National Airborne Day to recognize all those who have served as a glider man or paratrooper; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is grateful for past and present paratroopers and their families who have dedicated their lives in defense of our nation, and citizens are encouraged to recognize the contribution of these courageous soldiers to Virginia, the nation, and the world;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize August 16, 2023, as VIRGINIA AIRBORNE DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.