In the final year of his 42-year career and his 10th as Nevada’s adjutant general, Brig. Gen. William Burks will be this year’s keynote speaker at the Nevada National Guard’s 21st annual Flag Day ceremony and U.S. Army’s 244th birthday celebration at 10 a.m. Friday at the Nevada Veterans Memorial on Capitol grounds, 101 N. Carson St. The event is free and open to the public.
Burks, Nevada’s 29th adjutant general, graduated from Wooster High School in 1976 and studied accounting at the University of Nevada, Reno. He commissioned in 1978 and became a navigator on the RF-4C Phantom jet. Burks deployed during Desert Storm as a navigator with the 152nd Reconnaissance Group, Nevada Air National Guard.
In the post-9/11 era, Burks served at the Pentagon on the Quadrennial Defense Review before he became Nevada’s adjutant general in 2009. He’s set to have a retirement ceremony Sept. 7 at the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno.
Arianna Bennett, KTVN Channel 2 anchor, will be this year’s emcee. Nevada Army Guard Senior Enlisted Leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Jared Kopacki, will give the U.S. Army’s 244th birthday address. Along with Burks, Kopacki is set to retire later this year after four years as Nevada’s senior enlisted leader and six as the state’s command sergeant major.
The event will include the Nevada State Archive’s 36-star flag first raised at Fort Ruby in White Pine County immediately following Nevada statehood in 1864; a historical flag presentation from the Nevada Air National Guard; a bagpiper; the local chapter of the Sons of American Revolution and a U.S. Army birthday cake from the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA).
The U.S. Army is two years older than the American Flag. A resolution of the Continental Congress authorized 10 companies of riflemen on June 14, 1775, giving birth to the U.S. Army. Two years later, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act and adopted the stars-and-stripes design as our nation’s flag. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.
Elks Lodge ceremony
Carson City Elks Lodge No. 2177, 515 N. Nevada, will also host a flag day ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday. Snacks will follow the ceremony. Girl Scout Troop 317 will participate in the ceremony. Carson City Emblem Club No. 507 will perform the flag folding. Flags to be retired will also be accepted for proper disposal at a later date.