News: Wishing the National Guard a Happy Birthday from South Carolina
Story by Maj. Cindi King
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Hundreds of South Carolina Guard members joined the Commander-In-Chief of the S.C. Military Department, Gov. Nikki Haley and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina, in a nationwide celebration today to wish the National Guard a happy 375th birthday.
The National Guard recognizes Dec. 13, 1636 as its “birthday,” as it was this date a militia was officially organized in Massachusetts to protect the colonies and defend the settlements against hostile Indian tribes.
In honor of this special occasion, the S.C. Military Museum loaned a historic sword dating to 1670s, used by South Carolina’s first Citizen Soldiers in defense of Charles Towne, to cut the birthday cake.
Festivities included a presentation by 24 Guard members, as “Palmetto Players” each reciting a script depicting significant events in South Carolina National Guard history. The South Carolina National Guard dates to May 1670 when all males above the age of 17 and under age 60, took an oath to bear arms and serve as soldiers to protect South Carolina.
The lineage of the state’s important role in defending freedom and protecting its citizens includes Queen Anne’s War, the Tuscarora Indian War, French and Indian War, American Revolution, War of 1812, Seminole War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Persian Gulf War and currently the global war on terrorism.
Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a video message to all Guard members thanking them for standing up for America and wishing the National Guard a happy birthday.
“It is a great day to celebrate,” said Haley, before cutting the birthday cake decorated with the National Guard logo of the Minute-Man. She added she and her husband, Michael, who is a soldier in the S.C. Army National Guard, were proud of the Guard and its families.
“You represent loyalty and integrity and have the courage to answer the call to duty,” said Haley. “America knows you will always be there.”
Livingston, joined by his wife Barbara, said the crescent and the gorget are recognized symbols of excellence and since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, more than 13,000 South Carolina Guard men and women have answered the nation’s call.
“South Carolina’s generations of heroes have been faithful to their heritage of protecting and defending freedom here at home and around the globe,” said Livingston. “Like our forebears, we too shall proudly hand the torch of liberty onto the next generation. God bless our National Guard and these Unites States of America.”