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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 National Guard 417th Birthday

WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard traces its heritage and tradition of citizen-service back to May 14, 1607; and

WHEREAS, military presence in Virginia to defend freedom at home and overseas has not ceased with Virginia National Guard service during the American Revolution through the American Civil War to World Wars I and II and into Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and the Global War on Terror; and

WHEREAS, World War I marked the first time that volunteer state militia units were activated for federal duty under a formal Army structure and deployed overseas for combat operations, and that tradition continues today as National Guard personnel are deployed all over the world; and

WHEREAS, during World War II, soldiers from the 29th Division took part in the massive invasion of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, to be known forever as “D-Day”; and

WHEREAS, more than 800 members of the 116th Infantry were killed, wounded, or missing during the assault on Omaha Beach, but their courage and bravery helped create a foothold that allowed follow-on forces to continue the assault, liberate France, and bring an end to Nazi tyranny; and

WHEREAS, Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen served during Operation Desert Storm, and since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have served on federal active duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve; and

WHEREAS, National Guard Soldiers serve with courage, honor, and distinction, and more than 2,000 Virginia National Guard personnel recently returned from missions across the Middle East, Horn of Africa, and Kosovo, among other locations, an amount surpassed only twice in the last century; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard could not perform its mission without the support of the civilian workforce, families, employers, and communities around the Commonwealth;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize May 14, 2024, as the 417th BIRTHDAY OF THE VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.