October 16th Dedication of New Global War on Terrorism Memorial
Thursday, October 12th, 2017
The National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia, will hold a dedication of the new Global War on Terrorism Memorial at 11 a.m., October 16, 2017.
The memorial to the Global War on Terrorism includes eight granite panels etched with the names of nearly 7,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have died in service to GWOT since 9/11. A 13-foot steel beam taken from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and donated to the museum by New York City firefighters sits atop concrete columns representing the Twin Towers. The memorial features nine bronze figures representing an Infantry squad, illustrations of each service's role in protecting our nation and narrative panels chronicling the nation's longest war.
The joint-service memorial stands in honor of all service members who have served in the Global War on Terrorism since 9/11 and the families who support them. This includes active duty, veterans and those who've made the ultimate sacrifice defending their country.
The event includes a fundraising dinner the night before the dedication and a private breakfast for Gold Star Families on the day of the ceremony. Patriot Guard Riders will provide honor guards, and will lead a convoy of motorcyclists traveling to the museum.
The public is invited to the dedication event. Parking at the museum will be limited; please register at www.NationalInfantryMuseum.org/gwot-dedication to receive an emailed parking pass. Those who live or work on Fort Benning are asked to use free shuttle transportation provided at these three pickup points: McGinnis-Wickham Hall East Lot, Brave Rifles Field at Harmony Church and Kannell Field at Sand Hill.
GEN (Ret) John Abizaid will be the guest speaker for the dedication. Abizaid retired from the United States Army after 34 years, earning four stars and becoming the longest-serving commander of United States Central Command. From 2003 to 2007, he was responsible for all military operations and activities in 27 nations in the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia. Since retiring from the Army in 2007, Abizaid lent his expertise in matters of the Middle East in various consulting capacities. Abizaid and three other four-star generals who served as commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan--Stan McCrystal, George Casey and Chuck Jacoby--joined forces in 2015 to help design the memorial and raise the funds needed to build it. "The National Infantry Museum is the perfect place for this memorial, and I am confident that the hundreds of thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and family members who visit it will find it to be an emotional, inspirational and fitting tribute to their sacrifices," Abizaid said.
Other speakers include
Army Lieutenant General (Retired) Tom Metz,
Brigadier General Chris Donahue
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (Retired) Carlton Kent.
Chaplain Yonina Creditor of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, a Navy rabbi, will host the closing prayer. She was an EMT in New York City at Ground Zero after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The ceremony will close out with Taps and a missing man flyby.
Organizers expect thousands of veterans and active duty military to attend the dedication event, along with top service commanders from each of the branches. Invitations have gone out to Gold Star families across the country. RSVPs have come from as far away as California and Pennsylvania.
In addition to the October 16 dedication, media are invited to cover the fundraising dinner at 6 p.m., October 15, and the Gold Star breakfast at 9 a.m., October 16. The dinner will feature remarks by two Gold Star family members and Army General (Retired) Barry McCaffrey. The breakfast will give Gold Star families an opportunity to reconnect and reflect in advance of the ceremony. Please contact Cyndy Cerbin at 706-653-9234 to make arrangements well in advance of the event.
The Museum, normally closed on Mondays, will open at noon on October 16 and remain open until 5 p.m.