OCEANPORT: On June 14, 2017 Flag Day as well as the 242nd Birthday of the US Army was celebrated at Cowan Park at Fort Monmouth. The 100th Anniversary of the Fort was also recognized. Fort Monmouth's history can be traced back to the establishment of the Signal Corps training facility in Little Silver in 1917. In 2005, BRAC ordered the closure of Fort Monmouth and the relocation of CECOM to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland. The base was closed on September 10, 2010.
The ceremony opened with the presentation of the colors by the New Jersey National Guard Color Guard followed by the National Anthem sung by the Shore Regional High School Chorus (under the direction of David Attilio). Invocation was said by Pastor Lyddale Akins of the Triumphant Life Church which is located in the Forts old Main Post Chapel.
FMERA Director of Facilities Planning Rick Harrison mc'ed the event and in addressing those present noted that the Fort was the Army's "House of Magic" for all of its innovations. Harrison noted that the new mission was to "create jobs and get the property back to productive use".
Following the renditions of You're A Grand Old Flag and God Blass America, retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel John Occhipinti recognized those present who had served in prior wars and noted the support given by civilians. For the cake cutting ceremony the oldest veteran present and the youngest took part in the ceremonial cake cutting.
Monmouth County Freeholder (and FMERA Board Member) Lillian Burry noted in her remarks that "FMERA continues to seek innovative ways to make sure Fort Monmouth continues to be a vital part of the state".
The day concluded with a rendition of The Army Fight Song.