Units’ Legacies to be Preserved on Memorial Walk of Honor
Columbus, Georgia – September
13, 2012: Veterans will be dedicating two new monuments on the National
Infantry Museum's Memorial Walk of Honor this week.
Members of the Americal Division Veterans Association are holding their 33rd
annual reunion in Atlanta this week. The division was hurriedly formed in May
1942 on the Pacific island of New Caledonia to fend off a feared attack by the
Japanese. Although most Army units are given numerical designations, the
commander requested that it be named the Americal
Division – a contraction of American, New Caledonian Division.
The name stuck, despite an official renaming of the unit to the 23rd Infantry Division.
The highlight of the reunion will be a bus trip to Columbus for the
dedication of the group's new monument and a memorial service at 10 a.m.
Friday, September 14, on the Memorial Walk of Honor. Afterward they'll take a
windshield tour of Fort Benning and return to the National Infantry Museum for
lunch and a tour of the galleries. Up to 300 people are expected.
An hour later, at 11 a.m. on September 14, the U.S. Army Ranger Advisors to the Biet Dong Quan will dedicate a new
monument to the 2,500 advisors who served in the Vietnam War. The unit was
charged with advising U.S.-trained Vietnamese Rangers. Forty-two were KIA. Three earned the
Medal of Honor and 36 were awarded Distingished Service Crosses. Only about 250
of the advisors are still living; 26 of them will be attending the group's
bi-annual reunion in Columbus/Fort Benning.
“We were a small unit at a special time in a special place,” said Unit
Director Bill Miller. “When our members are gone, the unit is gone. That is why
we're dedicating this monument: to preserve the legacy.”
(SOURCE: NATIONAL INFANTRY MUSEUM)