By Karl Weisel (USAG Wiesbaden)June 11, 2009
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Soldiers from around the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden gathered in the Wiesbaden Dining Facility June 11 to celebrate the Army's 234th birthday.
As 1st Armored Division and USAG Wiesbaden leaders discussed the significance of the commemoration, community members had a chance to look at a special Army Birthday display and enjoy Army Birthday cake.
During the event Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Blackwood, Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, Pfc. Brittany Marky, Col. Jeffery Dill and Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Prince sliced an Army Birthday cake.
"This is not just a celebration," said Blackwood, 1st Armored Division's senior noncommissioned officer. "It's also recognition of the Soldiers who have served our nation for 234 years. It's not about any one individual, it's about the product we give to our country ... and it's about our service. It definitely is a privilege and a responsibility."
Blackwood also advised everyone present to "remember those still serving in harm's way" in defense of the nation.
Dill, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's new commander, quoting from President Barack Obama's Army Birthday presidential proclamation, said, "As men and women of the United States Army, you are part of the greatest military force the world has ever known. Excellence is your standard. As we honor your service, we also recognize the devotion of your loved ones who support and pray for you as you are deployed across the globe."
"This exceptional spirit of sacrifice is the mark of the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families, and your selflessness is the reason we enjoy the freedoms we have today," Dill read from the proclamation. "You have provided the opportunity for all Americans to live in peace and prosperity, and your dedication to our country is acknowledged and appreciated by all."
The colonel and other participants also talked about the important role played by noncommissioned officers as mentors and leaders throughout U.S. Army history, pointing out that his year the Army celebrates the Year of the NCO.
Other Army Birthday events slated to be held in Wiesbaden included Child, Youth and School Services parades, thank-you cards for Soldiers, an Army history scavenger hunt and barbecues.