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    1st Infantry Division Remembers 631 Soldiers killed Post 9/11

    1st Infantry Division Remembers 631 Soldiers killed Post 9/11

    Photo By Sgt. Daniela Lechuga | U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John V. Meyer III, the 1st Infantry Division commanding general,...... read more read more

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES

    05.26.2024

    Story by Sgt. Daniela Lechuga 

    19th Public Affairs Detachment

    WASHINGTON D.C. — 1st Infantry Division Soldiers supported the Society of the First Infantry Division (SOFID) by participating in the First Infantry Division Monument Expansion Dedication Ceremony, May 26, 2024 in President’s Park, Washington, D.C.

    To mark the 100th Anniversary of the First Infantry Division Monument, the 1st Inf. Div. honored 631 Big Red One Soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq and unveiled a new Desert Storm plaque containing the names of the 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers killed in Operation Desert Storm.

    U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Watts, 47th commanding general of the 1st Inf. Div. and current president of the SOFID, shared a brief history of the monument, the new features that make up the expansion, and sympathized with the families in attendance.

    “Today we continue the proud heritage of the First Division Monument. To your front are the granite plinths with name plaques, containing the names of the 631 Soldiers killed in action: 439 killed in Iraq and 192 killed in Afghanistan,” Watts said. “We mourn your [Gold Star Families’] loss and pray that you find comfort in the memories of your loved ones, whom we honor here today. They made the ultimate sacrifice while serving with the 1st Inf. Div.”

    U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, who supported the SOFID with their monument expansion project, joined the Kansas Gold Star Families, Big Red One Soldiers, and veterans in the celebration.

    “Today we honor the lives of our heroes and humbly add their names to the First Division Monument. These warriors’ names now join the 12, 947 1st Inf. Div. Soldiers who preceded them, each of them too having made the last full measure of devotion,” Marshall said. “Our national anthem concludes with a question not a statement: ‘Oh say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave?’,” Marshall said. “The lives of the 631 Soldiers we honor today answer a resounding, ‘Yes.’”

    Maj. Gen. John V, Meyer III, the 1st Inf. Div. commanding general, delivered remarks on the division’s legacy throughout the past century, and thanked the families for their loved one’s sacrifice.

    “For 107 years this division, the First Division, has defended the values that make our country great.” Meyer said. “I’d like to thank all of the family members for coming here today and all of the Soldiers you represent with your presence here today. We honor your sacrifice and we stand in remembrance. No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great. Duty first.”

    Gold Star Spouse, Sierra Herring, spoke about her late husband, U.S. Army Spc. Josph Lister, who died on November 20, 2003 from an improvised explosive device in Iraq. While sharing her personal story about loss and resilience, she emphasized the importance of remembering fallen Soldiers.

    “The monument and adding Spc. Josph’s name and adding the Gold Star Families Soldier’s names to the monument, means that their legacy will live on,” Herring said. “People will see his name and be able to find out who he is, that means that you all have guaranteed that Joe will be able to live on forever. People will be able to talk about him, they will look him up and know his story.”

    All attention turned to the new granite plinths as the removal of the black cloths unveiled bronze plaques containing the name, rank, and unit of the Soldiers killed in action from Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Veterans, friends, Families and Big Red One Soldiers interacted and embraced each other following the conclusion of the ceremony. A mix of emotions could be seen as they remembered their loved ones and searched for their names on the newly unveiled plaques.

    The 1st Inf. Div. and the SOFID will continue to recognize past, current and future Big Red One Soldiers for their dedication and selfless service and remember the fallen Soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending the nation.

    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.26.2024
    Date Posted: 05.31.2024 09:26
    Story ID: 472664
    Location: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, US

    Web Views: 501
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN