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NEWS | Aug. 29, 2022

JBSA leader helps celebrate 114th birthday anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson

By Olivia Mendoza Sencalar 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In an annual tradition that originated by Mrs. Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, a private wreath-laying ceremony was held for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s gravesite in observance of his birthday.

The National Historical Park Service hosted the 114th annual wreath ceremony at Johnson Family Cemetery at the LBJ Ranch in Johnson City, Texas, Aug. 27, 2022.

“I’m so humble and appreciative of this opportunity to be a part of today’s celebration as we recognize the 114th Birthday of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and reflect on the enduring legacy he left behind,” said Col. Travis Mills, 502nd Force Support Group commander.

Born August 27, 1908, the late president focused on ways to make the United States a better place to work, live and raise a family during his time in office.

“Johnson devoted his efforts to the first big steps in the battle for a ‘Great Society,’” Mills said. “His work improved the lives of millions of Americans and contributed to economic growth.”

Joe Baston, a longtime friend of the Johnson family, was also at the event and spoke about how Johnson helped American labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez in Austin.

“Johnson knew how to keep the people calm. He had photographers and media go to Austin and the next day, Johnson spoke to Cesar Chavez and asked what he could do to help,” Baston said. “A big press conference was held and Cesar’s followers left quietly without a march because they accomplished their mission.”

Baston said Johnson had a passion to help his nation but also helping a fellow friend.

Johnson served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, as a U.S. senator, as the Senate’s majority leader and as vice president. He holds the distinction of being one of the few presidents who served in all elected offices at the federal level.

“I would be remiss if I did not note that in his earlier life, Johnson was appointed as a lieutenant commander in the United States Naval Reserve,” Mills said. “He served a stint in the Pacific theater until President Roosevelt recalled all Congress members from service.”

Mills noted that Johnson’s legacy and what he had started is not yet finished.

“Each one of us must continue to do our part to move our nation forward, remaining united in the effort to improve our country,” Mills said. “There is a quote from President Johnson himself that stated, ‘There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few we can solve by ourselves.’”