05-29-2014 02:06 PM
On June 14, 1775, America’s Founding Fathers established the Continental Army in revolt against the British, marking the birthday of our nation’s armed forces.
For soldiers and their families stationed around the world, the Army birthday is a time to celebrate, reflect and give thanks. Hundreds of local tributes typically take place as soldiers mark the day in their own unique ways, from the whimsical and adventurous to the silent and solemn. Here are a few examples from last year.
Honoring the fallen: To kick off birthday celebrations in our nation’s capital, John McHugh, secretary of the Army, placed a wreath at the tomb of the Continental Army’s first general, George Washington.
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Rise and shine: At Fort Hood, Texas, soldiers gathered at sunrise to salute the flag as it was raised before participating in a 4-mile esprit de corps run.
Dressed to the nines: Army posts all around the world hold elegant balls complete with dinner and dancing to mark the anniversary. According to tradition, the Army birthday cake is cut with a ceremonial sword, an honor shared by the youngest and oldest soldiers in attendance.
Have your cake and eat it too: No birthday is complete without the cake. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, soldiers, veterans and civilians who live nearby gathered for the 2nd Annual Army Birthday Cake Challenge to help celebrate and honor those who serve or have served. The cakes were judged based on presentation of theme, originality of design, taste and appearance.
Celebrating America: What better way to celebrate America’s Army than a night of America’s favorite pastime — baseball.The Chicago Cubs honored soldiers and veterans on the eve of the Army’s 238th birthday at Wrigley Field. An Army leader threw out the first pitch before the Cubs battled it out against the Cincinnati Reds.
Take inspiration from these ideas as you celebrate the Army’s founding this year.
How do you celebrate the Army’s birthday? Submit your own ideas and share your photos on USAA’s Facebook page.
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