PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Several hundred people stood in front of Independence Hall on Thursday to celebrate two birthdays. On June 14, 1775, the U.S. Army was born. Two years later on the same day, delegates commissioned the American flag.
June 14, 2018 began with an Army change of command ceremony in front of Independence Hall.
“What gives me chills up and down my spine is to think our flag has been all over the world representing this country,” Maj. Gen. Troy Kok told Eyewitness News.
Kok watched proudly as a new group of soldiers took the solemn oath to serve. Down the street at the Betsy Ross House, a small group took the oath to become Americans. The highlight for many who watched the Army birthday was seeing 96-year-old Alex Horanzy, the city’s last living Pearl Harbor survivor.
“We had 169 members in our association. I’m the only one that’s left in the Philadelphia area so I’m the last man standing,” Horanzy said.
Horanzy has service in his blood.
“I had five brothers, three in the Army and two in the Navy. I had a brother killed at Okinawa. He was 22, so that left four brothers,” he said.
Horanzy says he’s thinks back to Pearl Harbor and his Army career.
“It’s something we should be proud of and never forget,” he said.
Now, Horanzy is focused on the next generation of soldiers.