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WHEREAS, on October 13, 1775, the United States Navy was established by our nation’s leaders to maintain, train, and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas; and
WHEREAS, for 243 years, the United States Navy has answered the call of duty to protect this nation and its democratic values both in times of war and peace; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is proud to be home to more than 40,000 active duty and reserve Sailors, and their families; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is the home to largest naval base in the world, Fleet Forces Command and the newly established U.S. 2nd Fleet; and
WHEREAS, these Sailors and civilian workers support our national security and protect our freedoms at a myriad of locations in the Commonwealth, including: Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Naval Air Station Oceana and Dam Neck Annex, Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Naval Support Facility-Dahlgren, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Surface Combat Systems Center Wallops Island and the Pentagon; and
WHEREAS, service members and their families have demonstrated unmatched courage and dedication to sacrifice for their country, from service that traces back from the Revolutionary War to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, the United States Navy has been instrumental in presenting the ideals of courage, fairness, and equality all over the world through the selfless actions of its men and women; and
WHEREAS, today, we celebrate the continued strength, professionalism and bravery of our ready and resilient Sailors in the all-volunteer force and observe October 13, 2018, as the 243rd birthday of the United States Navy;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 13, 2018, as 243RD BIRTHDAY OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.