ST. PAUL, Minn. – In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Navy Reserves, Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed today, March 3, as ‘Navy Reservist Day in Minnesota.’ The official proclamation was formally announced at a celebration event today in St. Paul at the Veterans Administration Building. The event speakers included Capt. Brent McMurray, Commanding Officer, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth). Richard Thill, a USS Ward sailor and “First Shot” Club member was the guest of honor and had the opportunity to perform a traditional Navy cake cutting.
Sen. Reinert, also an actively serving Naval Reserve Officer, was honored to help host the Centennial event and assist in celebrating such an important anniversary. Sen. Reinert was also honored by other speakers as a great example of a ‘citizen sailor.’
“I’ve always worn a lot of hats, as professor, senator and an Officer in the Navy Reserves. This last hat is one that I’m especially proud to wear. Hearing and sharing the stories today about the history of the Naval Reserves in the United States, Minnesota, Duluth, and St. Paul – I’m truly honored to be a part of today’s celebration,” said Sen. Reinert.
Speakers at today’s event highlighted the number of Minnesotans who have served in the Navy Reserves since its original creation, when the Minnesota Legislature authorized the Minnesota naval militia in 1899. Since 9/11, 70,000 reservists have fought in the War on Terror. During the height of World War II, 3.4 million American sailors were fighting in the Navy. Mayor Chris Coleman added that his father served in the Navy in WWII, and that 1,500 National Guard and Navy Reservists are currently stationed in St. Paul.