Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
There were brass and braid and military bearing galore at Thursday night's Egyptian Armed Forces Day Celebration held at Ft. Myer in Virginia. The occasion marked the fourth anniversary of the Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
Actually, before 1973 there had never been an Armed Forces Day, explained the host, Egypt's armed forces attache Abou Ghazala. "Before, there had been a date for each branch of the service, but now there is this one day, Armed Forces Day."
He explained that in Cairo the day was celebrated with parades and military reviews.
Among the 200 guests were military attaches from around the world, including those from Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand and ROmania. Indeed, there were so many foreign military officers that one American woman, unaccustomed to military dress, wondered aloud, "What ones are ours?".
A gentleman not in military attire explained that "ours" were the ones in navy blue with the gold stripe down the side of the pants.
There also was a considerable number of military and aircraft equipment salesmen.The party was a standard outing for them.
"I went to one of these last night and am going to one tomorrow night," said Robert R. Corey, Sikorsky Aircraft's regional director for international marketing, who said eh sells helicopters.
Ghazala told a group of friends about where he was on Oct. 6 in 1973. "I crossed the canal at 1600 hours," he said, pausing to explain that that was 4 p.m. "That was 2 1/2 hours after the first Egyptian soldier crossed the canal. I was artillery commander of the Second Army."
Meanwhile, Egyptian embassy press officer Mohammed Hakki was being kidded by one of the guests about how the Egyptians had managed to let the affair held in the officer's club's Koran Room, a reference to the name of the Moslem holy book. "I hear it was called the Torah Room," said the guests, "and they just changed it to the Koran Room." The room was named after a Lt. Alfred J. Koran, secretary of the officer's mess from 1964 to 1969.