The Second Corps Cadets Veterans Association has announced plans for the celebration of the 380th Anniversary of the First Muster of the National Guard. The events, scheduled for Saturday, April 1, will commemorate the first military muster ever held in the United States and celebrate Salem, Massachusetts as the birthplace of the National Guard. This year the guest of honor will be 4 Star General Joseph Lengyel, The Chief of the Guard Bureau.
Beginning at 9:30 am on April 1, guests may join the Association along with other active National Guard units and veterans groups in ceremonies at St. Peter's Church and Armory Park. St. Peter's Church is significant as a place of remembrance for the Second Corps as their founder, Stephen Abbott, is buried there.
The ceremonies honor the first muster, which took place on Salem Common in 1637 as the colonial militia held drills for the defense of their local communities. In 2013 President Barack Obama signed legislation sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney, officially recognizing Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard.
Following the ceremonies, the Association invites guests as well as National Guard units, mounted Lancers, re-enactors, and several other veterans' organizations to join in the march to the Common for the muster. The muster ceremony begins at 11:30 and will feature a Pass in Review and Cannon Salute.
The Muster has been attended by thousands of National Guard units, veterans' organizations, guests, and other military groups, and is a memorable way to be part of the local community while remembering the importance of what took place on Salem Common 380 years ago.
The First Muster commemoration events are free and open to the public.