By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BAY RIDGE — Happy 237th birthday, U.S. Army! You’re looking good for your age!
The United States Army was established 237 years ago and Brooklyn will play a key role in celebrating its birthday, Col. Michael Gould, commanding officer of the Fort Hamilton Army Base, told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Fort Hamilton, established in 1825, is the only active military base in New York City.
June 14 marks the date on which the Army was established, but celebrations will be taking place on and around that date, Gould said, beginning with a rededication ceremony at the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza on Tuesday, June 12, at 10 a.m.
“On previous birthdays, there have been celebrations on posts,” Gould said, referring to army bases. “But for this birthday, we’re bringing the celebration to the public. We’re excited about it. We belong to the citizens. We are your army.”
On June 13, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Bay Ridge) will host an event in John Paul Jones Park, on Fourth Avenue and 101st Street, at 7 p.m. The park is located outside the fort’s main entrance gate. Grimm, a U.S. Marine veteran, fought in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in the early 1990s.
Here are some of the other Brooklyn-related events:
• Borough Hall, at 209 Joralemon St., will host a cake-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on June 14, the Army’s actual birthday.
• Soldiers will conduct a physical training session in Brooklyn Bridge Park on June 15, starting at 6:30 a.m.
• A “Soldier Fun Run” will take place in Bay Ridge on June 16, starting at 6:30 a.m. The participants will run from the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the 69th Street pier and back.
“There will be cake-cutting events at the borough halls in all five boroughs,” Gould said.
Buddy Valastro, the famous baker who stars in the popular TLC show “Cake Boss,” will create the birthday cake for the U.S. Army, Gould said. The colonel met with Valastro on the morning of June 4 to discuss the design of the cake. In addition to the five cakes for each of New York City’s boroughs, the “Cake Boss” will also bake a cake that will be shipped to an Army post in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army Band, known as “Pershing’s Own,” will perform on the lawn in Bryant Park on 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan on June 14 at 1:30 p.m. There will be a second performance at 5 p.m. at Duffy Square in Times Square.
The band will also perform at the Statue of Liberty on June 15 from 9 a.m. to noon.