by Maj. Angela Webb
JBER Public Affairs
9/22/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Although
downtown Anchorage was flooded with those in pirate costumes, another
celebration brought together almost 700 military members, families and
other distinguished guests dressed in their finest attire to honor the
Air Force's legacy at the Dena'ina Convention Center, Saturday.
U.S. Air Force installations across the globe celebrated the 68th Air
Force birthday in some fashion, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
threw a party to remember a proud past and promising future.
While it was a night of celebration, the Air Force birthday and POW/MIA
Recognition day are on the same day - so there was also a solemn moment
to honor America's prisoners of war and those missing in action, with a
missing-man table and honors ceremony.
The evening's guest speaker, the Hon. Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator for
Alaska and U.S. Marine Reservist, spoke about family, service and
sacrifice. He included several anecdotes of Air Force and other military
leaders who began this journey more than 68 years ago to construct
today's U.S. Air Force.
"I feel that the warriors of the sky are all toasting along with you
tonight to celebrate one of the greatest services that they helped to
create," Sullivan said. "Trust and take pride in your service, sacrifice
and dedication in protecting this country."
From the Air Force Ball Committee's production of JBER historical and
present-day photos to the youngest and oldest Airman in the room cutting
the cake and the singing of the Air Force song, the night showcased the
esprit de corps and pride of the Air Force.
Before the birthday celebration ended, there was a round of applause for all Airmen and their families in the room.
"Thank you for everything you do, day in and day out, to make our Air
Force the very best in the world," said Col. Brian R. Bruckbauer, JBER
and 673d Air Base Wing commander, during closing comments. "As we walk
out these doors, let's continue to make history."