Archive for Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Division to celebrate history

July 2, 2008

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— First Infantry Division alumni and past commanders will converge on Fort Riley later this month for "Victory Week," celebrating the division's history and lineage.

The division was established in World War I and is known by its trademark emblem as "The Big Red One." It was headquartered at Fort Riley from 1955 to 1996, then returned in 2006 after 10 years in Germany.

"Victory Week celebrates the heritage of our great division and the soldiers who have worn the Big Red One patch," said Maj. Gen. Robert Durbin, commanding general of the division and Fort Riley. "It is these veterans who have paved the way and built the legacy which we strive to carry on today."

Activities for the July 14-18 celebration include the dedication of Victory Park, built near the new headquarters building. The park has stones memorializing about 400 soldiers, including Spc. Ross McGinnis, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for duty in Iraq.

McGinnis, 19, of Knox, Pa., was awarded the medal in June for falling on a grenade to save other members of his unit when it came under attack in December 2006.

Durbin also will conduct a review of the division's soldiers on Cavalry Parade Field, the first in nearly a year since he took command.

Other events for the inaugural celebration include a conference to brief former leaders about soldiers' activities.

Fort Riley has more than 15,000 soldiers. Its combat aviation brigade is currently deployed to Iraq and the 2nd Brigade has orders to go to Iraq later this year.

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