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Wow. Good evening. And welcome everyone!
It’s wonderful to have you here, and I am so grateful that you could join us for tonight’s Navy birthday celebration. It’s my distinct honor to host you for tonight’s celebration.
I want to give a big “thank you” to Capt. Ken Collins and our amazing United States Navy Band!
If you haven’t heard the Navy Band before – except for what you just heard – you are in for a real treat!
Our band is made up of some of the nation’s most talented musicians, and they serve our Navy all over the world by connecting and inspiring people through the gift of music. From traditional marches and ceremonial music to rock, jazz, and hip hop –– they can do it all. I may be biased, but I think it’s the best show in town and we are in for a real treat tonight.
So tonight’s concert is really an opportunity for us to commemorate, to honor, and to celebrate.
First, we’ll commemorate several historic milestones in our Navy and our nation:
It’s the 130th anniversary of the Navy’s Chief Petty Officer, and of course, one week ago, we welcomed our newest Chiefs into the Mess.
It’s the 125th anniversary of the Hospital Corps.
The 100th anniversary of Navy Research Lab.
The 75th anniversary of the naval nuclear propulsion program.
The 75th anniversary of racial integration of the armed forces.
And the 75th anniversary of [the 1948] Women’s Armed Services Integration Act.
It’s 50th anniversary of our all-volunteer force, the 50th anniversary of women flying in naval aviation, and the 45th anniversary of women serving aboard U.S. Navy ships.
Second, this evening we will honor all those who serve, and all those who have served.
Specifically, this year marks the 50th anniversary of when the last U.S. combat troops left South Vietnam in 1973, and tonight we’re going to pay special tribute to our Vietnam veterans … and their families.
Please join me in thanking all of our Vietnam veterans with a round of applause?
And, finally, tonight we are going to celebrate the 248th birthday of our Navy.
For 248 years, your U.S. Navy has stood the watch. From the Arctic to the South Pacific, and everywhere in between, your Navy operates around the world and around the clock to defend our homeland, to promote American prosperity, to support allies and partners – in missions like Pacific Partnership – which you’ll see highlighted later tonight – and to uphold our democratic values.
Always on patrol, “America’s Away Team” never takes a day off.
Right now, our Sailors are deployed all around the world, operating in all domains, from seabed to space, doing the work of our nation.
So to our Navy service members, our veterans, and families here tonight, thank you for your service and sacrifice … and thank you for leading with our Navy core values of honor, courage, and commitment.
Again, I’m really thrilled to be here with you tonight, and without further ado … I’m incredibly proud to present … your United States Navy Band.
Adm. Lisa Franchetti
07 October 2023
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