National Guard Celebrates 385th Birthday As Members Help Tornado-Damaged Communities
In this handout provided by the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas National Guardsmen from the Conway based Special Troops Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assist a family salvage heirlooms amongst the debris following a deadly tornado April 28, 2014 in Mayflower, Arkansas.
Arkansas National Guard via Getty Images

The U.S. National Guard celebrated its 385th birthday on Monday, as Guard members served to assist thousands of Americans impacted by devastating tornadoes that swept through six states over the weekend and killed at least 74 individuals in Kentucky and at least 14 more people in other states.

“For 385 years, the National Guard has kept its promise to America: remaining Always Ready, Always There. Happy Birthday, National Guard!” the National Guard’s Twitter account announced to mark the day.

“Happy 385th birthday to the @USNationalGuard. From wildfire and hurricane assistance, to helping curb the pandemic, to supporting overseas missions, we’ve asked a lot of our NGB members this year. We appreciate all they do to keep our nation safe, healthy, and secure,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin posted.

Former Vice President Mike Pence noted an early “Happy Birthday” message to Guard members Monday morning.

Despite the commemoration, Kentucky Guard members posted that they remain busy helping the state’s residents, especially in Mayfield where search and rescue teams continue efforts.

“Our Soldiers with the CERFP and the 223rd MP’s finished up another long day here in Mayfield assisting in search and rescue and traffic control. We’re refueling for another long day tomorrow!” Kentucky’s Guard posted on Sunday.

The Daily Wire previously reported on the tornado damage in Kentucky, including a tragedy involving a Mayfield candle factory:

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said at a news conference on Saturday that around 110 people were inside the factory when the tornado struck, the Associated Press reported.

“We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians and probably end up 70 to 100,” he said at a news conference Saturday. “It’s very hard, really tough, and we’re praying for each and every one of those families.”

One factory employee, Kyana Parsons-Perez, was “trapped under five feet (about 1.5 meters) of debris for at least two hours until rescuers managed to free her,” the AP reported. She told “The Today Show” that this was the “absolutely the most terrifying” thing she had ever experienced, adding, “I did not think I was going to make it at all.”

Beshear declared a state of emergency and said he activated the National Guard and requested federal assistance.

“This has been one of the toughest nights in Kentucky history and some areas have been hit in ways that are hard to put into words. To all of our Kentucky families that are impacted by this, we want you to know that we are here for you, we love you, and we are praying for you,” he said.

“We will get make it through this, we will rebuild,” Beshear added. “We are strong, resilient people, and we will be there every step of the way.”

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