CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Chicopee held a flag raising ceremony in honor of the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force.

City officials, active duty and veteran members of the United States Air Force gathered at the flag pole across from city hall in Chicopee for a special flag raising to mark the 75 years since the Air Force split from the Army and became it’s own independent branch of the armed services.

“Well it’s the birth date of the Air Force as an independent service. I’m glad to see that people are showing up. There’s always someone on alert. Always,” said Mike Brunetti, a retired member of the Air Force from Chicopee.

Chicopee Mayor John Vieau also signed an official proclamation making September 18th – the actual anniversary date – U.S. Air Force appreciation day. The proclamation was handed to Commander Joseph Janick, commander of the 439th airlift wing. Brunetti had the honor of raising the flag. The flag was returned to half staff following the ceremony for the time being, in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth.