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National Guard celebrates 385th birthday

A large number of American flags, honoring the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, are on display at the Riverton City Park, ahead of the 20th anniversary. (Jed Boal/KSL TV)

It would take a whole battalion, perhaps more, to put candles on a birthday cake for the National Guard. The organization is celebrating 385 years of existence on Monday.

The National Guard was formed on Dec. 13, 1636 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s General Court established the 181st and 182nd infantries, the 101st Engineer Battalion and the 10st Field Artillery for better defense. The National Guard credits the oldest organized units for being symbolic to the founding the 54 state, territory and District of Columbia militias that now comprise the group. There are more than 400,000 active members of the National Guard, including 7,000 airmen and soldiers from Utah.

The Utah National Guard released a Tweet to commemorate the birthdate. It read: “Happy 385th birthday to the US National Guard. Keeping our promise since 1636 to be ‘Always ready, always there’ for our country and state.”

Other tributes included congratulations from President Joseph Biden and vice president Kamala Harris. The Department of Defense thanked the guard for their service and sacrifice. Several more individuals and groups also expressed appreciation for the National Guard.

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