Salem Takes Honor as National Guard's Birthplace

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"What a lineage we have -- what an honor to be here," Massachusetts Guard Adjutant General Air Force Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice said at the ceremony.

"What a great meeting of all the history in the place," Rice added.

The Guard's birth dates back to Dec. 13, 1636, when the North, South and East Regiments of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were formed. The first muster of those regiments then took place on Salem Common, though the actual date has been lost to history.

The area's significance as the Guard's birthplace has been widely known and accepted locally. In 2010, Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Duvall signed a similar bill into state law and in 2007 the Salem City Council passed a corresponding resolution.

Each April, Massachusetts National Guard members hold a mustering of troops on Salem Common as a way of celebrating Salem's role in the history of the Guard. The Massachusetts Army National Guard's 101st Field Artillery Regiment, 182nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Engineer Battalion and 181st Infantry Regiment all trace their lineage back to the original regiments that mustered on Salem Common.

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