This year marks the hundred-year anniversary of the establishment of the 95th Division. We are celebrating this milestone in a number of ways, but the most important of them was to come together with our World War II veterans – the original Iron Men of Metz – to take time and remember their achievements and the legacy that they have left for us. The 95th Division’s Centennial Reunion took place in September, and it was my great good fortune to be able to attend.
One of the unique things about the 95th is that we have an incredibly active and valuable alumni association. The Association’s efforts to preserve our Division’s historical legacy have given us a very impressive museum and memorial at our headquarters in Fort Sill.
100 YEARSWe are celebrating this milestone in a number of ways, but the most important of them was to come together with our World War II veterans – the original Iron Men of Metz – to take time and remember their achievements and the legacy that they have left for us. The 95th Division’s Centennial Reunion took place in September, and it was my great good fortune to be able to attend.
The quality of this museum is as good, or better, than what you would expect from a divisional museum on an active duty installation. I would encourage anyone with an interest in 95th Division history to take time to visit. You will be impressed!
The Alumni Association has taken other steps to preserve the Division’s legacy. This year, for the Centennial, they restored and rededicated the 95th Division monument located at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. This location is significant in Divisional history because after the 95th Division reactivated for service in World War II, it moved to Fort Indiantown Gap to train prior to entering the war. The Division spent several months at Fort Indiantown Gap, then went to Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts, where it waited to finally cross the Atlantic Ocean, land in France and become part of General Patton’s Third Army.
Twelve of our World War II veterans were able to attend the rededication ceremony. A number of the barracks buildings from that era still stand at Fort Indiantown Gap, and this provoked some nostalgia among our veterans. Being there also brought back memories of long road marches, and of wandering around at night as they trained in the surrounding hills. It was wonderful to get to hear the stories they shared!
When we consider the incredible achievements of those who have come before us, it reminds us that we are now the keepers of our Division’s legacy. What we do today, in this, our Division’s Centennial year, will determine our Division’s future. This is a great responsibility. The Division’s reputation depends on us. One thing is certain, however: our Soldiers are among the very best in America’s Army Reserve. Because of this, I have every confidence that when challenged, they will excel!