Hampton University alumna and Honor Guardsman to participate in Wreath Laying Ceremony at inauguration

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Posted at 9:24 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 21:25:03-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Another Hampton University alumna is playing a big role in Wednesday's inauguration.

Casey Blowe, Ensign (0-1) of the U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard, will participate in the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the 59th Presidential Inauguration, in which Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

Ensign Blowe graduated from Hampton University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. She is the daughter of Dr. Eleanor H. Blowe, the principal of Denbigh High School in Newport News, who is a 1990 HU alumna.

In July 2020, Blowe became just the second African American female officer in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard to become an Honor Guardsman.

“It is an honor to be able to do this ceremony and to be in this position right now,” Blowe told her alma mater. “I never thought that by doing something I enjoy that I get to make history. I have stood in front of the first African American president and now the first African American female vice president. It’s a big deal to stand before them and get to do what I love every day.”

Additionally, fellow HU alumna Army Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, the assistant adjutant general for the Maryland National Guard, has been chosen to command the National Guard troops who are providing support to the inauguration. She is the 14th Hamptonian to reach flag officer status.

“Hampton University is incredibly proud of Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead and Ensign (0-1) Casey Blowe for their important parts in the peaceful transition of Presidential Power taking place at the Capitol. Thank you to both of them for all they do to protect and serve our wonderful country,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.

The inauguration will begin around 11a.m. Wednesday. The Wreath Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery will start around 2 p.m.