January 13, 2002, 13:38 EST

Warner sworn in as Virginia's 69th governor

Maj. Gen. Claude Williams presents the first shell casing fired from Gov. Mark Warner's inauguration gun salute conducted by the 246th Field Artillery. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear)

RICHMOND, Va. – Mark R. Warner was sworn in as Virginia's 69th Governor on January 12, 2002 on steps of the State Capitol in Richmond. The weather was warm for January and the skies were clear and blue, and the Virginia National Guard was there, as it has been since 1607, supporting the Commonwealth. The 29th Infantry Division (Light) Band entertained the crowd that had gathered to witness the inauguration of Governor Warner before the ceremony began. The soldiers of 246th Field Artillery fired the salute to Governor Warner. Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the adjutant general of Virginia, then presented Warner with a shell casing from the salute.

Brig. Gen. Joseph Godwin, assistant adjutant general of Virginia for Army, led the color guard, which was the first element in the parade that celebrated the swearing in of a new governor of Virginia. The color guard represented every major command in the Virginia Army and Air National Guard. The Cadets of Virginia Military Institute followed the Virginia National Guard element in the Inaugural Parade. As the parade passed the reviewing stand a flight of F16s from the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192d Fighter Wing thundered overhead to salute the new governor and Commander in Chief of the Virginia National Guard.

Governor Warner’s celebration of his vision of “One Virginia – One Future” continued that evening at the Richmond Center and the Virginia National Guard was there supporting the event. Men and women of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard assisted with security of the event; assisted guests; and provided escorts for the Commonwealth’s newest elected officials. Chief Warrant Officer Deborah Rowles and Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Billmeyer served as the military escort for Governor Warner and his family when they entered the main ballroom of the Richmond Center.

Click HERE to return to the top of the page ~ Click HERE to return to the news directory