This year marks the 29th annual ceremony that honors all Soldiers and veterans of the 10th Mountain Division who have fought in wars from World War II to current operations in Afghanistan.
The guest speaker for this year's event was William Morrison, president of the Northern New York Chapter of the 10th Mountain Division Association and a division veteran of World War II.
"Some 73 years have passed since we were assembled on the parade ground at Camp Hale (Colo.), on a day not unlike this one: blue skies, white puffy clouds drifting by and the surrounding mountains, having shorn their summer garb of browns and greens," Morrison said.
He said that July 15, 1943, was the date of the formal activation of the 10th Light Alpine Division, the first mountaineering division ever created by the United States military.
"I don't recall what we were thinking that pivotal summer morning, but we certainly were aware of the fight in distant parts of the world," he said. "The Pacific Islands, North Africa and preparation for an assault on Italy soon to come in September."
Morrison continued to reflect on his time with the division, and he noted how few of those light alpine Soldiers with whom he served were there with him at Whiteface Mountain.
"A few of us are here today," he said. "Veterans of the war in Italy, who have returned to make such visits, may have left a small part of ourselves, in a small and special place, on the now beautiful and peaceful countryside."
Although it has been more than 70 years since Morrison had served with the mountain Soldiers, he still feels connected to the division, since they moved from Camp Hale, Colo., to Fort Drum.
"Our reconnection to the 10th came in 1985, when Fort Drum became the permanent home of the 10th Mountain Division," he said. "From that ceremony of welcome, to this Whiteface ceremony, to other ceremonies and events at (Fort) Drum, we are always supportive of our division."
"We find it very satisfying that the 10th is and has been for many years, the most deployed division in America's Army," he said. "This is a proud testament to the leaders and Soldiers who proudly wear our historic mountain patch."
Morrison finished his speech with a final thought to the Soldiers serving in this historic division.
"To the Soldiers of the 10th, as you continue your Climb to Glory, and face challenges yet unknown, our hopes and prayers climb with you," he said.
"We thank you for your dedicated service and wish you every success, no matter what the mission. Climb well to glory," Morrison said.