GOVERNOR PATRICK SIGNS LEGISLATION DESIGNATING SALEM AS BIRTHPLACE OF THE NATIONAL GUARD
Governor Governor Patrick signs HB1145 "An Act Designating the City of Salem as the Birthplace of the National Guard" at Salem City Hall. (Photo credit: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office). View additional photos.
SALEM - Thursday, August 19, 2010 - Governor Deval Patrick today signed HB1145, "An Act Designating the City of Salem as the Birthplace of the National Guard." Joined by Major General Joseph C. Carter, the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, military members and local officials at Salem City Hall, the Governor recognized the rich history of the National Guard in Massachusetts and honored past and present members of the Guard who have served our Commonwealth so faithfully throughout the years.
With the signature of this bill, Salem will be publicly identified as the birthplace of the National Guard, adding value to the historical attraction already associated with that location and increasing public knowledge of the long history and important place that the Massachusetts National Guard has played and continues to play in the defense of the Nation.
"Massachusetts is the birthplace of our nation and it is only fitting that an institution designed to protect our Commonwealth and our country, be rooted here as well," said Governor Patrick.
"By partnering with the legislature and many dedicated advocates, today's bill signing highlights the rich history in the City of Salem and the valued service of the Massachusetts National Guard and servicemen and women across the country," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services.
The beginnings of the National Guard, and the United States Army in its earliest form, are traced back to the first muster of the East Militia on the Salem Green in April, 1636. Four of the oldest units in the United States Army serve in the Massachusetts National Guard today: the 181 Infantry Regiment (currently deployed in Afghanistan); the 182nd Cavalry Regiment; the 101st Field Artillery Regiment; and the 101st Engineer Battalion. Each of these units traces its regimental lineage to the Salem Militia, honored every year by The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard at the Annual Salem Muster.
"We are the nation's first and it's a proud day for the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard," said Major General Carter. "Our Soldiers and Airmen have proudly served the citizens of our Commonwealth for more than 373 years. Our long and proud history began in Salem and it continues as we serve our neighbors here in Massachusetts and our fellow Americans both throughout our great nation and overseas."
During his recent visit with Massachusetts servicemen and women in the Middle East, Governor Patrick met with members of the 101st Field Artillery Brigade from Brockton, Danvers, Fall River and Quincy at Camp Phoenix in Afghanistan. There are currently more than 1,700 Massachusetts National Guard troops deployed for duty overseas, and as Commander in Chief of the Massachusetts National Guard, Governor Patrick is proud of the professionalism and courage displayed by those serving both overseas and here at home to keep the Commonwealth safe.
"This important designation celebrates the men and women who have selflessly defended our country with National Guard since its inception in 1636 on Salem Common. Congratulations to the city for today's much deserved recognition," said Senate Majority Leader Frederick E. Berry.
"The First Muster is celebrated in Salem each spring and recognizes the militia of the past and honors the military of the present," said Representative John D. Keenan, author of the National Guard legislation. "Today with the signing of this bill we recognize the importance of our great city in the founding of our nation's military. I am grateful that the Governor joined us today to commemorate the signing of this important designation in our city's history."