Approximately 200 people gathered at Fort Monmouth on June 14 to celebrate Flag Day. The ceremony also honored the 242nd birthday of the U.S. Army and the 100th anniversary of the Army’s presence at the Fort.
Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) Director of Facilities Planning Rick Harrison was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which included the singing of the national anthem by the Shore Regional High School Chorus, an invocation by Triumphant Life Assembly of God Church Pastor Lyddale Akins, and remarks by Fort Monmouth Site Manager Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) John E. Occhipinti, U.S. Army (Retired).
“The Flag flew over Fort Monmouth from 1917 to 2011 – 94 years and Flag Days,” Harrison said. “FMERA is proud to continue the legacy of honoring our flag and those who have fought to protect it.”
Harrison noted that, for nearly a century, Fort Monmouth served our nation with distinction through two World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, numerous peacekeeping operations in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Veterans of each of these conflicts were honored during the Flag Day Ceremony. All veterans present were acknowledged, with representatives from every conflict dating back to World War II in attendance. Occhipinti’s uncle, Sam Occhipinti, was honored as the oldest veteran present, having served in World War II.
In keeping with a longstanding tradition, the cake was cut by the oldest and youngest veteran at the ceremony. Sam Occhipinti yielded this job to Lt. Col. Donald Buckner, U.S. Army (Retired), the second-oldest veteran present, and he and Sergeant Gloria Vargas made the ceremonial first cut.
A gallery of images from the event is available here: https://www.fortmonmouthnj.com/media-center/photo-gallery/flag-day-2017/