Ring The Bell, Our Navy Turns 242Jessica McFarlane | Community Writer
This year, across the globe, bells will ring to commemorate the birthday of the United States Navy. How will local sailors observe the day and what exactly are they celebrating?
Did you know that the US Navy was commissioned before the Declaration of Independence was signed? That’s right, born on October 13, 1775, the Navy is older than our country. Maritime is in America’s blood, and maritime superiority defines the US Navy, which began with a humble fleet of two ships and evolved into the world’s most powerful forces.
On a magnificent fleet of approximately 300 ships, sailors patrol above and below the massive oceans that cover 70% of our Earth’s surface. The crew patrols the waters, conducting exercises that strengthen alliances, assisting in humanitarian missions, mobilizing troops, and launching aircraft and missiles.
"The US Navy has the biggest area of responsibility of any of our armed forces."
But its scope isn’t limited to the seas. Today’s 242-year-old Navy is a force comprised of many facets--sub and surface fleets, aviation, navy medicine, and Expeditionary Forces.
Locally, Iwakuni sailors will celebrate the Navy birthday exactly 242 years to the day of its inception. “We will have the Navy Birthday Ball on October 13,” says the president of the ball committee, Senior Chief Isaac Valles, “this year, we nailed it!”
“Sailors, Marines, officers, enlisted, retirees … everyone is invited to make our Navy proud and be a part of the celebration,” said Valles. He wants to ensure that even if a sailor is deployed, their spouses are welcome to join the festivities. Valles adds “Atsugi spouses are invited too.”
“Our theme this year is ‘Sea Power to Protect and Promote.’.” Valles explained. “Sea power is … making sure we have our best assets and war fighting team.” He continued, “we protect our homefront and promote what we stand for.”
“The Navy Ball ceremonies speak volumes [to this year’s theme]” shares Valles. “Our intent is to share our naval heritage and traditions while also celebrating our Navy Birthday.” Valles describes what attendees can look forward to, “Some of the events for that night will include: the ringing of the bell; a cake cutting ceremony; the youngest and oldest sailor present; a guest speaker; and a POW/MIA remembrance ceremony.”
It wouldn’t be a formal ball without a served dinner. “This year, the menu will feature a choice of Filet Mignon with Bearnaise sauce, Thai Green Chicken Skewers, or Butternut Squash Ravioli,” said Valles, “and that includes a Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail appetizer, dessert, and Greek Salad.”
“Tickets are $50 each and are available at the Club Iwakuni Cash Cage,” shared Valles. He is excited to execute and celebrate the Navy’s big day, “It’s going to be a great day and a great event.”
For tickets, call or visit Club Iwakuni Cash Cage at 253-3363