BUFFALO, NY (01/06/2011)(readMedia)-- The incoming commander of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing will honor President Millard Fillmore Friday in a ceremony recognizing the Buffalo resident's 211th birthday.
Col. Jim McCready, the vice commander of the 107th Airlift Wing, who is slated to take command of the wing from Col. Patrick Ginavan on January 22, will present a wreath from the White House during the annual ceremony conducted by the University at Buffalo.
Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States , was a co-founder of theUniversity at Buffalo's and the school's first chancellor. The university has conducted a memorial ceremony annually since 1937.
The United States Military honors former presidents by laying wreaths sent by the current president at their gravesites on the anniversary of their birth.
The New York Army and Air National Guard traditionally conduct the wreath layings at the graves of President Chester A. Arthur in Menands, Albany County; President Martin Van Buren in Kinderhook, Columbia County; and Fillmore.
" I am honored to be representing the President of the United States, President Obama, at this most prestigious event marking the 211th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States and native of Western New York, " McCready said.
Born on Jan. 7, 1800, Fillmore was instrumental in founding the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Club and the Buffalo General Hospital. His activities also led to the creation of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.
Some historians credit the former teacher, postmaster, lawyer and member of Congress with establishing the White House Library. During his administration the United States opened trade relations with Japan and California was admitted to the union. He died on March 8, 1874.
The annual ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 7 at Fillmore's gravesite in Forest Lawn Cemetery here.
The 107th Airlift Wing, which is based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, operates C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft in support of United States military operations worldwide. Individual Airmen also deploy regularly to locations around the world.
As members of the New York Air National Guard the men and women of the 107th Airlift Wing also stand ready to assist in state emergencies at the direction of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.