Celebrate the 78th anniversary of the first military parachute jump with Fort Bragg during National Airborne Day, Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in downtown Fayetteville, N.C.
National Airborne Day is observed every year on August 16, but Fort Bragg celebrates the day the following Saturday so the community at large can experience this milestone of airborne history together.
The day kicks off with the opening of the static displays and pre-event music at 8 a.m. The following is the timeline of events:
9 a.m., narrator welcoming remarks
9:30 a.m., an outside performance by the 82nd Airborne Division “All American” Chorus
9:45 a.m., a mock door demonstration
10 a.m., static displays and rock band performance by the 82nd Airborne Division
11 a.m., WUNC’s “Fort Bragg” Stories inside the auditorium
11:15 a.m., an indoor performance by the 82nd Airborne Division “All American” Chorus
11:30 a.m., a mock door demonstration by the 82nd Airborne Division
11:45 a.m., a HALO demonstration by the U.S. Army Golden Knights and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s Black Daggers
A visit from the Walking with the Wounded organization along with wounded warrior Ivan Castro will be among those in attendance.
WWTW is an organization from the United Kingdom currently walking 1,000 miles from the West to East coast of the United States for their Walk of America event consisting of USA-UK veterans. The team will be in town and available for the National Airborne Day celebration.
“The National Airborne Day celebration is a fun and interactive Family event for the surrounding communities to experience first-hand what it means to be a paratrooper,” said Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg spokesman. “For 78 years, Fort Bragg paratroopers continue to stand ready to be at our nation’s defense.”
The first parachute jump was conducted by the parachute test platoon, organized of members of the 29th Infantry Division, who conducted the first jump Aug. 16, 1940.
National Airborne Day was created in 2001, and former President George W. Bush proclaimed August 16 as National Airborne Day. It was joined by the U.S. Senate in 2009 with Senate Resolution 235.