By NICK DUKEJuly 24, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 24, 2013) -- On the 95th anniversary of the 4th Infantry Division's first battle, Soldiers, veterans, Family members and special guests of the division came together at the National Infantry Museum's Parade Field to dedicate the unit's official monument.
Among the special guests was Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, a former commander of the 4th Infantry Division.
"I have never been more proud to have this patch on my right shoulder as I am today," Odierno said. "I think about all those who have given their lives and sacrificed so much for their country and their unit."
The monument honors the division's past and current campaigns, while also leaving space for future campaigns. Odierno said this aspect of the monument's design was representative of what it means to be a U.S. Soldier.
"Being a Soldier in the Army is about understanding the past, being prepared in the present and then preparing yourself for the future," he said. "What today really is about is remembering the past and those who have sacrificed so we can have this great country today. Whenever we do a memorial service like this, it's really important to remember how many men and women have raised their right hand and said, 'I'm willing to sacrifice my life for what we have here in the United States.' That's what this memorial is about. The 4th Infantry Division has been an integral part of that for more than the last 90 years."
The monument is nine feet tall, cast in bronze and features the 4th Infantry Division patch design of four ivy leaves joined at the stem and positioned at the points of a square.
The monument's unveiling marked the end of a yearlong process to fund, design and construct the monument, an effort spearheaded by the 4th Infantry Division Association.
The association's president, Bob Babcock, said the monument will stand as a testament to the past, but is also meant for the Soldiers of the future.
"This is also for all those Soldiers of the future who are going to pass down this parade ground," Babcock said. "That monument is theirs. That monument will stand as a sentinel overlooking the National Infantry Museum, soon the Armor Museum and this parade field long after all of us are gone."
In his speech, Odierno remembered the sacrifices of all who have served in the division during the past 95 years.
"Our Army and our Soldiers are the best in the world because they stand on the shoulders of our veterans who have come before them," he said. "This monument represents nearly 100 years of service by the Soldiers and veterans of this great division. This monument recognizes all those who volunteered and sacrificed their lives to make our country just a little bit better. This monument celebrates the camaraderie we have shared by wearing the ivy patch of this great unit."
Both Babcock and Odierno also thanked the Families of past and current 4th Infantry Division Soldiers for their support over the years.
"We must also remember that we couldn't do what we do without the steadfast support of our Families and the American people," Odierno said. "No Soldier stands alone. Army Families and the community support them and have shown us the meaning of resiliency, character and untiring commitment. We are forever grateful to them. This monument represents their sacrifices as well."
4th ID campaign streamers
World War I
World War II
Normandy (with Arrowhead)
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69, Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII
War on Terrorism
Liberation of Iraq
Transition of Iraq