BOURMOUNT, France - The 2nd Infantry Division celebrated its 100th anniversary in a ceremony, Oct. 26, here, where the initial founding of its units' headquarters was born, and now located at Camp Red Cloud in South Korea.
The ceremony began with a wreath being placed in front of the memorial by local kids from the community, surrounded by patrons who came to remember and pay their respects to the American Soldiers who shed blood and tears with their Soldiers in past wars.
"It is an honor for me to represent one hundred years of Warriors from the Indianhead Division," said Col. Jon Howerton, deputy commanding officer for maneuver of 2nd Infantry Division. "From their very beginning, here in Bourmont, to our current home in the Republic of Korea, the Warriors of the 2nd Infantry Division have always stood ready and to this day, stand ready to fight alongside America's allies in the defense of liberty."
The 100-year history of the 2nd Infantry Division began Oct. 26, 1917. It was formed to fight in the World War I, and decades later it was the first U.S. division to land on the European continent to fight in World War II. Since then, the division has supported the Global War on Terror with deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and several other countries around the world. At home, the 2nd ID has the mission of deterring aggression on the Korean peninsula, and if deterrence fails be ready to "fight tonight."
This was not the last time the 2nd Infantry Division would fight alongside its French allies. During the World War II, the Warriors once again stood together with the French people. And only five years after that, they found themselves together once again on the far side of the world, on the rocky Korean Peninsula, supporting a new ally in a country many of them had never heard of.
The divisions centennial theme is Honoring Our Past, Inspiring Our Future. With its 100-year birthday celebration, the 2nd Infantry Division is paying tribute to its past Warriors whose service paved the way for current and future Soldiers to proudly wear the "Indianhead" patch today in defense of freedom.
"As a former 'Second to None' Soldier, I was extremely humbled and proud to be included and invited to this ceremony," said Col. Devon Blake, commander 66th Military Intelligence Brigade. "Considering this was my very first duty assignment as a brand new lieutenant, to me 'Second to None' invokes incredible memories knowing that for 100 years, the sacrifice and that 664 Distinguished Service Cross were issued to the unit, that so many gave their lives before, I feel important being a small part of that history."
The division has been significantly involved in almost every major American conflict since it was organized during World War I. It is the only division organized on foreign land. In an effort to strengthen 2nd ID's mission to deter aggression on the Korean Peninsula, the Army transformed the Indianhead Division into the 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-US Combined Division, June 2015.
"An anniversary such as this must be celebrated," said Jonathan Haselvander, mayor Bourmount, France. "Not for nostalgic reasons, but to remind us where we come from, so that each new generation knows what has happened and that together we continue to remember our shared history."