JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, the commander-in-chief of the Missouri National Guard, was sworn into office Monday during a ceremony held at the State Capitol.
The Missouri National Guard had a key role in helping plan the day’s activities, including the swearing in ceremony.
The Missouri’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, said the Guard was honored to join agencies and individuals and agencies from across Missouri during the ceremony.
“Gov. Nixon has been an outstanding commander-in-chief, and a tireless supporter of our men and women in uniform,” Danner said. “He’s visited our Guardsmen serving in Afghanistan three times to support our troops overseas, and been right there with us on levees and in communities devastated by natural disasters during state emergency missions. We were honored to support him and the rest of our state leaders on this special day.”
Nixon and his wife, first lady Georganne Nixon began the day with a worship service at First Baptist Church. After the service, the Nixons rode in the inaugural parade, which began at the Missouri River Regional Library and ended at the State Capitol. The parade included several Missouri veterans.
Maj. Douglas Frank, the administrative officer for the Missouri Army National Guard’s 135th Special Troops Battalion, marched in the parade.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent Soldiers from all over the state and to be here today marching in the parade,” Frank said.
The Missouri Guard’s 135th Army Band, from Springfield, also performed.
Following the National Anthem, which was sung by retired Lt. Col. Regina Kilmer of the Missouri National Guard, Nixon, along with other statewide elected officials, took the oath of office.
Soldiers from Battery A, 1-129th Field Artillery Regiment, the regiment in which President Harry Truman served, then performed a 19-Gun Salute.
Nixon delivered his inaugural address as the 55th Governor of Missouri and spoke of the resilient nature of Missourians.
“In good times and bad, through hellish drought and high water, the people of Missouri have proved their mettle,” Nixon said. “And, as we’ve seen these past few years, when our backs are against the wall, we come together.”
Nixon is beginning his second term as the 55th Governor of Missouri after being re-elected by Missourians in November.
He has been a strong supporter of the Missouri National Guard and Missourians serving in the military, creating the “Show-Me Heroes” program to promote hiring veterans and signing legislation providing a dedicated source of funding for Missouri’s veterans homes.
Nixon is also a member of the President’s Council of Governors, and has made multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit with troops and to be briefed on military operations.
As the day continued on, the Nixon family welcomed Missourians on the first floor of the Governor’s Mansion for a public greeting.
The evening concluded with the Grand March and Inaugural Ball in the Capitol Rotunda, which featured the Jerry Ford Orchestra and was emceed by Mike Kelly, a University of Missouri sports announcer.
As Nixon concluded his inauguration he spoke of the future of Missouri and its people.
“Together we can – and we will – build a bright future for the great state of Missouri in the greatest nation on earth.” Photos courtesy Ann Keyes, Missouri National Guard; and Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.