SANTA ANA, California—With 247 American flags fluttering in the breeze on a perfect Southern California day, Orange County District 2 celebrated Flag Day and the Army’s 247th birthday, June 14, in Santa Ana, California. The event was held in honor of all military personnel, firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, and other first responders.
The patriotic field of flags sponsored by the Exchange Club was planted by multiple troops of Boy and Girl Scouts, while JROTC cadets provided a color guard and Marine Corps Air Station Tustin Young Marines demonstrated the 13 symbolic folds of the flag. Veterans attending the event wore hats and clothing displaying their branches of service and combat units. Supervisor Katrina Foley, Orange County District 2, led the event and introduced speakers.
Keynote speaker Col. Julie A. Balten, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, addressed a socially distanced audience of citizens seated amidst the sea of red, white and blue at the Old Orange County Court House, the oldest court building in California and now a historic landmark. Balten spoke about Army life and being a Soldier.
“Our all-volunteer military is the best trained and most professional force in the world. Today’s Army is a cross-sectioning of all Americans, with warriors from the 50 states and protectorates,” Balten said.
Balten noted the Army Corps of Engineers’ 247th birthday follows two days later on June 16 and provided some Corps history.
The traditional cutting of the Army birthday cake using a saber was performed by Foley, Balten and a 72-year-old Army veteran from the audience. Participants were treated to a hot dog barbeque following the ceremony.