Colorado National Guard supports governor’s inauguration with flyover and cannon salute

By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

Members of the Colorado National Guard supported the inauguration of Gov. Jared Polis at the State Capitol in Denver, Jan. 10, 2023, with an F-16 Fighting Falcon flyover, ceremonial cannon salute, military band, and the presentation of colors.

The cannon fired 38 blank rounds from Civic Center Park across from the State Capitol’s west steps, symbolizing Colorado as the 38th state admitted to the union. 

A few additional practice rounds were be heard prior to the ceremony.

“Military support to the governor’s inauguration is a time-honored tradition in our state,” The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan said.  “Our Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are proud to participate in this ceremony in honor of our commander-in-chief.”

The CONG is organized into units and operates under command and control of the governor with delegated control to the state adjutant general.

A 21-gun salute is the most commonly recognized of the customary gun salutes, performed by the firing of cannon or artillery as a military honor.

The custom stems from naval tradition, where a warship would fire its cannons harmlessly out to sea, until all ammunition was spent, to show that it was disarmed, signifying the lack of hostile intent. As naval customs evolved, 21 guns came to be fired for heads of state, or in exceptional circumstances, for heads of government, with the number decreasing with the rank of the recipient of the honor.