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WHEREAS, on April 4, 1949, the United States of America, Canada, and 10 founding European nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty, thus establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to guarantee the freedom and security of their peoples; and
WHEREAS, for 70 years, NATO has been the cornerstone of transatlantic security and solidarity, as well as the most successful military Alliance in history, growing to 29 Nations and securing peace and freedom for its members since 1949; and
WHEREAS, Norfolk, Virginia, is proud to be NATO’s home in North America, welcoming Allied Command Transformation; and
WHEREAS, the contributions of this command is critical to preserving peace, security, and stability in the entire Euro-Atlantic area by developing warfare and strengthening the ability of NATO to perform a full range of missions throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation employ personnel from over 26 NATO Member Nations and 8 NATO Partner Nations and contribute more than $100,000,000 annually to the local economy; and
WHEREAS, April 4, 2019, we celebrate the NATO’s 70th anniversary and recognize the contributions and sacrifices of the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve to safeguard the peace and freedom of the United States and the entire NATO Alliance; and
WHEREAS, we express an appreciation for the close partnership among the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and NATO;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 4, 2019, as the 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NATO in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.