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    1ABCT Soldiers honor the fallen in Hohenfels

    1ABCT Soldiers honor the fallen in Hohenfels

    Photo By Christina Wilson | Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division cut grass,...... read more read more



    Story by Christina Wilson 

    U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria

    HOHENFELS, Germany — While at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center for training requirements, Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division made it a point to come together and pay their respects by cleaning the Polish prisoner of war cemetery located within the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Hohenfels Training Area on Nov.19. 

    During World War II, the area comprising the Hohenfels Training Area was a prisoner of war camp known as Stalag 383. Prisoners from Allied Forces were held at the site, with Polish prisoners comprising more than half of the 5,000 captives.
    From 1945 to 1949, displaced persons and former prisoners of war were housed in Hohenfels. During this time, former Polish prisoners erected stone monuments and built a cemetery north of Unteroedenhart for the many displaced persons who died during the imprisonment.

    "Knowing about the Polish monuments at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center before our arrival, we wanted to pay our respect to our fallen comrades and contacted the USAG Bavaria Hohenfels Public Affairs Office," said Cpt. Timothy Johnson S9, BDE Civil Affairs Chief. "After hearing about the Polish cemetery, we dedicated our time and manpower to clean and preserve the cemetery and gravestones."

    Between the DPW environmental office, the Self Help Shop and Soldiers from the 1ABCT, 25 participants assisted in this community event.

    "This cemetery is tangible evidence of a terrible time in history," said Johnson, "And we are here to honor the participants of that time. It is important that we continue to remember them. We owe them that."

    Soldiers cut grass, raked leaves and carted off debris. Headstones, thick with moss, were scrubbed clean. Participants felt uplifted by their efforts.

    "We enjoyed the opportunity to serve the community and our Polish friends. We can always walk away from something like this feeling good about what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished,” said 1ABCT Commander Col. Brian E. McCarthy. "Any opportunity we have to do a project like this builds on the idea that being friends and allies extends past just training together. We encourage our Soldiers to explore the local communities and cultures, and to give back where they can to the communities that host us."

    Along with the honor of preserving a World War II memorial and the pride of giving back to the community, the cleanup provided volunteers with a rewarding experience.

    "The cemetery is part of World War II history," said Sgt. Jackson Burris of 1ABCT. "And it's important for me and my fellow Soldiers to care for it."



    Date Taken: 12.07.2021
    Date Posted: 12.07.2021 09:31
    Story ID: 410587
    Location: HOHENFELS, BY, DE 

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