By Cyndy Cerbin, National Infantry FoundationJuly 3, 2019
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center celebrated its three-millionth visit July 2, ten years after the museum's opening.
The distinction of having the three millionth visit went to Tim Lordan and his family from Leominster, Massachusetts. Tim, his wife Arlene, daughter Paula and son-in-law Brian traveled to Columbus to attend the Infantry School graduation of grandson Andrew Curran.
"I was totally shocked!" Tim said after being hailed by staff and volunteers. "I didn't know what was going on. I thought it was all for my grandson, because he's already having such a great day!"
Curran's parents pinned the Infantry cord on him during the turning blue ceremony July 2 at Fort Benning. Curran graduated from Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, July 3 wearing the Army Achievement Medal for being his company's "top shot" and the Expert Marksmanship Badge. After graduation, he'll attend Ranger Assessment and Selection in the hopes of joining the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Curran and his parents have been to the museum before, but this was a first visit for Tim and Arlene.
"It's very impressive, a perfect representation of the Army," Tim said. Tim is a veteran, who served in the Army's field artillery branch.
National Infantry Museum Foundation president, retired Brig. Gen. Pete Jones, presented the family with a gift bag containing museum merchandise and gift certificates to the Fife and Drum restaurant, Giant Screen Theater and DownRange combat simulators. He also gave them a certificate and a limited edition Infantry Silver Dollar, released by the United States Mint in 2012.
"This family's visit illustrates the importance of the National Infantry Museum," Jones said. "After their visit they'll have a better understanding about the courageous career choice their son and grandson has made. It's a lesson in service and sacrifice we think all Americans should experience."
The museum celebrated its 10th anniversary just last week. Since its opening in 2009, the museum has welcomed approximately 300,000 visitors a year.
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, a 155-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, is the first site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. As the only interactive Army Museum in the United States, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, Global War on Terrorism Memorial, Vietnam Memorial Plaza, authentic World War II Company Street and Giant Screen Theater. For more information, visit www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org.