The U.S. States Navy celebrated its 232nd birthday in the nation’s capital on Saturday, Oct. 13. This military organization for sea warfare and defense was commemorated through a series of family-friendly events at several venues; the Navy Memorial Plaza, the Washington Navy Yard and the DAR Constitution Hall, all in the District of Columbia.
The day was replete with birthday cake, exhibits, a flag unveiling, performances and other festivities that were made accessible through free shuttle services that commuted between venues. Navy Day was kicked off at 10 a.m. with a Theodore Roosevelt re-enaction commemorating the 100th anniversary of the historic deployment of Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet. Civilians, admirals, senators, and all gathered around the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza to honor the men and women who protect and serve the country via the Navy. The air was thick with patriotism as the public atop plaza that had been inscribed with the words of the nation’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy, “Any man who may be asked what he did to make his life worth wile… can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction ‘I served in the United States Navy.'” The Navy Day celebration continued with the 9th Annual NJROTC Color Guard Drill Meet at the Washington Navy Yard. The U.S Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team also lent their talents to the day. Tours of the destroyer U.S.S. Barry were also given throughout the day. There were movie showings in Burke Theater, which further gave the public an insight into Navy life. Navy Day gave many enlistees the opportunity to showcase the valiant works they have been able to collectively achieve through the Navy. Officer Troy Roberts expressed what Navy Day was truly about. “Today we celebrate the Navy, we celebrate all of its components, the veterans and the reenlisted,” said Roberts. Officer Roberts had been stationed overseas for nine years in various European countries, and is currently a Navy recruiter in the Silver Spring section of Maryland. Standing in front of an exhibit called the Immersa-dome, Officer Roberts is encouraging children and adults alike to play the video games and experience the simulator. This contraction, equipped with 3D visuals and sound effects provides a simulated day in the life of a Navy officer. When the experience is over Roberts and other officers retort U.S. Navy slogans such as; “Accelerate your life.” Although the assortment of Navy brochures and activities might present itself as a more jovial display of propaganda Roberts insists the day is not centered on recruiting. Roberts said “Today is not about that it’s about Navy awareness and Navy pride,” as he pointed to various displays in an effort to prove his point. “There are so many different aspects of the Navy people don’t know about like the IBU 24 or the EOD, its not just submarines and big boats” said Roberts. Roberts is referring to the Insure Boat Unit which is the sect of the Navy that patrol the waters and the Explosive Ordinance Disposal which is the portion comprised of rescue divers. The U.S. Navy is a welled oiled machine with such feats under its belt as playing an instrumental role in the triumph of the U.S. against Britain in the war of 1812. The navy ranks its valiant officers and soldiers with different assortment of badges and pins.
The U.S. Navy was founded on October 13, 1775, and the Department of the Navy was established on April 301798. The Department of the Navy has three principal components: The Navy Department, consisting of executive offices mostly in Washington, D.C.; the operating forces, including the Marine Corps, the reserve components, and, in time of war, the U.S. Coast Guard (in peace, a component of the Department of Homeland Security); and the shore establishment. (U.S. Navy Office of Information). The day was made complete with an evening concert given by the U.S. Navy band featuring “American Idol” finalist Musician 3rd Class Phil Stacey. It was a day of peaceful celebration in honor of the nation’s naval elite.