Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WARRIORS REMEMBERED Book Signing | 30 September 2011 | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, Georgia

It mattered not what politicians argued.
It mattered not what history would reveal.
We had no expectation but to serve where duty called us.
We asked for no reward except a nation’s thanks.
Warriors Remembered

WARRIORS REMEMBERED is a 240-page, 11½” x 11½” hard cover photo documentary of Vietnam Veterans Memorials from all 50 states with stories of their significant features, locations and the motivation and struggle faced by those who built them. It highlights 100 memorials and their creators, and shares some of each memorial’s subtle details. WARRIORS REMEMBERED is both a travel log and a documentary.

THE NATIONAL INFANTRY MUSEUM & SOLDIER CENTER will host a book signing with the author, Colonel (Ret.) Albert Nahas, on 30 September 2011, from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
Read a free chapter of WARRIORS REMEMBERED online
Read a chapter for free online, then get your signed copy of WARRIORS REMEMBERED at the NIM on 9/30/11


COL Albert Nahas, Author
Click to learn more
 about COL Nahas
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Albert Nahas served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970 with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He retired as a Colonel after 26 years of dedicated service to our nation.

Beginning in 2002, COL Nahas spent 6 years and traveled 35,000 miles to complete the book which is intended to make people aware of the hundreds of memorials in all 50 states. He collected a list of 1,000 memorials. Most of those selected for inclusion in Warriors Remembered were built by Vietnam veterans. Their struggles and dedication to recognize their fallen comrades are also honored in the book.





WARRIORS REMEMBERED Book Signing at the National Infantry Museum
September 30, 2011
9:00am - 1:00pm

Friday, September 16, 2011

National POW/MIA Recognition Day | 16 September 2011 | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, GA Georgia

CSM Hardy officiating the
ceremony | see more photos
Together, we must serve our Nation's patriots as well as they have served us by supporting them when they come home, and by carrying on the legacy of those who do not. This is a promise we keep for our fallen, for our veterans past and present, and for all those whose loved ones have not returned from the battlefield.
President Barack Obama
Presidential Proclamation, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2011

Every 3rd Friday of September, the President of the United States issues a proclamation commemorating the service and sacrifice of our nation's Prisoners of War and Missing in Action. This morning, the National Infantry Museum and Fort Benning paid tribute to our POW/MIAs with a wreath-laying ceremony, conducted as as a part of the Basic Training graduation review for Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment.

The National Infantry Foundation asks that you join us in honoring the brave men and women who stand in the gap between the free world and those who wish to destroy it. May we always remember those who have given all in the service of our great nation, especially those who never returned home.

You are not forgotten.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster, 2011 | Department of Defense
To learn more about our military's efforts to recover all missing personnel, visit the DPMO website


*****************************************************************************
The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
1775 Legacy Way | Columbus, GA | 706.685.5800

Monday, September 12, 2011

AP: "9/11 Heroes Soothed and Inspired a Wounded Nation" | Associated Press Article featuring the National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, GA Georgia

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is past, but the memories and lessons of that day will always remain at the forefront of our consciousness. Tamara Lush of the Associated Press recently visited the National Infantry Museum as part of an article about the role of heroism in our society:

9/11 heroes soothed and inspired a wounded nation


Rick Rescorla on the National Infantry Museum's
Walk of Honor | 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, GA
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- When volunteer John House shows people around the National Infantry Museum, he pauses next to an exhibit in the Vietnam-era section and points to one of the lifelike mannequins posed in a combat stance.

A hero fought in this battle, House tells the visitors. His name was Rick Rescorla, an Army platoon leader who saved many of his men in Vietnam.

A bronze statue of Rescorla looms just outside the National Infantry Museum. The bronze monument depicts Rescorla fighting in Vietnam - but the pedestal describes Rescorla's final battle on Sept. 11, 2001.

As the head of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Rescorla evacuated 2,700 of his company's employees from the World Trade Center. After everyone in his company got out safely, he rushed back inside to help more people. He died when the south tower collapsed.

"He was a patriot," House tells people, "a hero, until the end."

On Sept. 11, 2001, most of the men and women who saved the lives of others on that day were ordinary citizens thrust into the role of a soldier - of a hero - without direction or orders. And in the decade following the terror attacks, Americans have draped those men and women with praise normally reserved for soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor. Sept. 11 produced many heroes, and stories about their lifesaving deeds have been inspirational during a decade that's been haunted by terrorism, wars and recession.

"The hero was a key part of the Sept. 11 narrative," said Brian Monahan, a sociology professor at Iowa State University who has written a book about media coverage of the terror attacks.

The stories of heroism have played a role in our understanding of the attacks, Monahan said. Reducing the stories to snippets and slogans - for instance, "Let's Roll," which was the rallying cry of a man on the hijacked Flight 93 that day - have imbued many Americans with a sense of patriotism, sacrifice and bravery.

"'Let's Roll' looks so cool on a bumper sticker, doesn't it?" said Monahan. "Remember when President Bush said, 'On a day when buildings fell, heroes rose?' It's like a movie poster."

There were the New York firefighters, police and paramedics who first responded to the burning towers. There were people like Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who helped dozens of people to safety in the south tower before dying in the tower's collapse. Construction manager Frank De Martini and construction inspector Pablo Ortiz were also heroes: they saved 77 people on the 88th floor of the north tower.

There were also the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa. - a group of people whose actions on that day, like Rescorla's, have come to symbolize bravery during the worst possible moment.

"On a grand scale, Sept. 11 provided us with a heroism of humanity," said Al Mascherino, a former Roman Catholic priest who runs a chapel in Shanksville. "It showed that many people are capable of profound qualities of heroism and self-sacrifice. It is really the content of the human spirit."

Mascherino and many others contend that the best of the human spirit was found aboard Flight 93.

According to the 9/11 Commission, the four terrorists who had hijacked the plane likely wanted to crash the Boeing 757-222 into the White House or Capitol building but downed the jet in the bucolic Pennsylvania field as passengers fought back. Tales of the passengers' heroism - culled from transcripts of their in-flight phone calls - fill every Flight 93 memorial found in the small town, from a chapel dedicated to the 40 men and women to the $50 million memorial at the crash site.

"It's not inconsistent with the heroes and bravery that has been woven into the fabric of our country," said Gordon Felt, whose brother Ed perished on Flight 93. "They chose as a group to act. They prayed. They fought. They were not going to go down without a fight. They wanted to survive, and their actions certainly helped avert another great disaster."

Inside the Flight 93 Chapel, visitors look at photos of the 40 men and women aboard the flight, while at the crash site memorial, people read the chilling transcripts of phone recordings and cockpit conversations during the plane's final moments.
Mascherino, who performs non-denominational services at the tiny chapel some three miles from the crash site, thinks that remembering the 40 people who died aboard Flight 93 as heroes also helps the living.

"We are inspired by their courage and we are impressed and in awe of their sacrifice," he said. "Sometimes heroes die. But death is not the earmark of heroism."
Honoring those heroes as a society has also provided a measure of healing for a grieving nation. Take Thomas Ullom, a firefighter in Westerville, Ohio.

He worked for seven years to get a piece of the World Trade Center steel for display outside of his community's firehouse. Ullom didn't know anyone who died in the attacks, yet was profoundly sad afterwards. Bringing the twisted steel to town was his way of saying thank you to the New York heroes.

"This was my therapy," Ullom said.

In the decade that followed the attacks, other heroes emerged, people like the soldiers fighting in the Middle East.

It's at the National Infantry Museum in Georgia where the 9/11 heroes merge with the military.

There's a gallery called "the Hall of Valor," which displays the photos of nearly 1,500 Army infantrymen who have received the medal of honor for their military service. A few steps away, there's a room that includes photos of the burning World Trade Center towers, an explanation that ties the attacks to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and artifacts collected by US soldiers from those wars.

Many of the museum's visitors are Army recruits who are training at nearby Fort Benning, and their families. House, the volunteer and former Army colonel, can spot the newly minted soldiers who visit because they are wearing blue pants and white shirts - and because they have a laser-like focus on the museum's depiction of battle scenes.

Those soldiers may be soon fighting in the war on terror, House said. Which is why he tells them about Rick Rescorla, and about 9/11.

"There were a lot of heroes on 9/11," said House. "And most of us don't even know their names."
*****************************************************************************
The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
1775 Legacy Way | Columbus, GA | 706.685.5800

Sunday, September 11, 2011

REMEMBERING 9/11: Your Story, Conclusion | "The Man Who Predicted 9/11" Schedule, 11 September 2011

Thanks to everyone who participated in our series of reader-submitted stories! To conclude this series, our Patriot Park IMAX blog is featuring an excerpt from Susan Rescorla's book, Touched By a Hero: A 9/11 Widow’s Journal of Love & Legacy.

If you enjoyed this series and would like to see more stories from our readers, suggest a theme in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.

Friday, September 9, 2011

REMEMBERING 9/11: Your Story, #5 | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, Georgia

Today we continue our series of 9/11 recollections, submitted by readers and published in their own words. 
This time we're featuring two stories sent in by NIMSC volunteers who worked on Fort Benning 10 years ago, discussing life as a civilian employee of Fort Benning in the days that followed the attacks:
On 9/11 I was working as a contractor in the TRADOC Systems Manager - Soldier (TSM-Soldier) office at Fort Benning.  TSM-Soldier acts as the soldier advocate for all materiel fielded to soldiers in the Army.  When the plane hit the North Tower, someone in the office received a call and turned on a television.  I then saw the second plane hit the South Tower but immediately gathered my belongings to drive to Atlanta to then fly to Boston.  After I had been on I-185 about 30 minutes several people from the office called me and told me to return because no aircraft were flying.  I was going to fly to Boston, the origination of some of the hijacked flights, so I could visit the Army's Natick, MA, lab.  
On 12 September I dutifully went to work but decided to go a little early.  Riding south on I-185 I hit the line of cars being checked for entry just south of St. Mary's Road at 6 am.  Many people turned around and went elsewhere.  I decided that if the Military Police could take the time to inspect cars that I could take the time to stay in line.  I finally passed the check point inspection at 12:15 pm and had to stop for gas at the PX.  When I reached my office in Building 4 on post at about 12:45, my instructions were to go home because all non-essential personnel were told to stay away for three days.
Those were trying days for sure.

John M. House, PhD
Colonel (retired), US Army

**************************************************
I was in my media center at Edward A. White Elementary School on Fort Benning, when one of the maintenance men came in and told me to turn on my TV.  I did, and soon after saw the second plane crash into the Tower.  Upon learning of what happened, our principal went to each classroom, called the teacher into the hall, and explained what had happened.  He told them to keep the TV off and let the parents break the news to their children at home.

Anticipating more security checks the next day, I rode my bike to work on the Riverwalk.  Nobody was checking the trail as it entered post, and it was so strange to see no cars on the usually very busy Fort Benning Blvd. from Custer Road up the hill onto Main Post.  Fortunately, some of our teachers were spouses who lived on post, so they gathered the students in the auditorium until at least one teacher for each grade-level arrived.  Since I had a master key, I was able to open up the building.  Because of the traffic jam at the check points, some teachers never made it to work that day.  Others arrived after noon.  Traffic was backed up on Benning Blvd. to Victory Drive, and some people trying to get to work and who had had too much coffee, had to head for the woods to answer nature's call.  By the next day, there were still delays, but things moved much smoother.

Owen Ditchfield

If you have a story to share, email jbeck@nationalinfantryfoundation.org. Over the coming weeks, stories will be posted every 1-2 days. If your submission is selected for publication, you will be notified immediately. The National Infantry Foundation retains the right to edit for clarity and content (grammar errors, offensive language, etc.), but will not alter the intent of the writer. These are your stories in your words.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

REMEMBERING 9/11: Your Story, #4 | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, Georgia

Today we continue our series of 9/11 recollections, submitted by readers and published in their own words. 
Today's entry is written by Ryan Vallery, whose story speaks to the strength and resolve of the American Soldier. Thank you for your story and your service, Mr. Vallery:

September 11th, 2001 will always remain a day vivid in my memories. Most people recall hearing about it on the radio, or a friend rushing them to the TV. I found out about it as I stepped into my OSUT Battalion as I noticed a Drill Sergeant wheeling out the Day Room television in tears.
I enlisted 11X in March of 2001 as a DEP-enlistee. I was your typical, run-of-the-mill soon-to-be-Infantryman: young, troubled, going nowhere fast. I needed an escape and the Army provided me one. I graduated summer school 20 AUG 01 and left for Fort Benning 21 AUG 01.  After the usual hell week at 30th Adjutant General Battalion (in-processing, hair cut, introduction to smoke sessions), I impatiently awaited my arrival to my Basic Training unit.
Finally, after three weeks of waiting out the Summer Surge, I received my orders. Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment – CHARLIE ROCK! At about 0835 we left 30th AG and marched the usual route up 2nd Infantry Division Road, down 41st Infantry Regiment Street, up 2nd Armor Division Road and into the Charlie Rock formation area, oblivious to the situation now in full development across our country. To our surprise, we walked into a huddled mass of Drill Sergeants, some with tears in their eyes. Was this a game? A scare tactic? Our Senior Drill wheeled the TV out so we could all watch what monumental event was so horrible so as to cause the indomitable Drill Sergeant to shed a tear. 
A passenger jet had hit the World Trade Center. It was 0900hrs when we arrived. As we watched, a jet collided with one of the massive towers, and it took a few moments to realize that this was actually a second jet. We all thought we were watching a replay of Flight 11. In actuality, we witnessed the televised attack by Flight 175.
We were dumbstruck. One Soldier collapsed as he cried that his father works in Tower 2 (he made it out). The TV is turned off and our Senior Drill addressed us: "Men, whether they've come out and said it or not, we are now a nation at war. Someone is going to pay for this, and you will be our instruments of destruction. All I ask is that you give 200% over the next weeks and kill the SOBs who done this. We serve in a volunteer Army, if this is too much to ask, raise your hand now and leave, or forever hold your peace."
I will forever be thankful to that one man who raised his hand and who subsequently, however unwillingly, served 15 weeks of KP, Fire Guard and CQ so that one less Soldier had to miss out on sleep and training. The next 15 weeks flew by with vengeance on my mind. We followed what news we could of Operation Enduring Freedom and looked forward to playing our part.
"3rd Herd" photo provided by Ryan Vallery
Long story short, a disabled veteran of three tours, I sit back now and remember, both fondly and without regret, my experiences throughout the 4 years and 8 stop-lossed months of my service. I will forever remember that day, its impact on my life, and what it means as a part of my American identity. I will never forget the sacrifices made by so many – both directly and indirectly – so that such terror will hopefully never be experienced on our end again. And should such events transpire once more, forever I am thankful that, "rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" (Winston Churchill).
Ryan Vallery
"Blue 4G"
Able 2-69 AR

If you have a story to share, email jbeck@nationalinfantryfoundation.org. Over the coming weeks, stories will be posted every 1-2 days. If your submission is selected for publication, you will be notified immediately. The National Infantry Foundation retains the right to edit for clarity and content (grammar errors, offensive language, etc.), but will not alter the intent of the writer. These are your stories in your words.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

REMEMBERING 9/11: Your Story, #3 | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, Georgia

Today we continue our series of 9/11 recollections, submitted by readers and published in their own words. 
This story comes from Ms. Stephanie Litz, a volunteer at the National Infantry Museum and elementary school teacher at Fort Benning:
Tuesday, September 11, 2001 began like any other day as I drove onto Fort Benning’s open post along with thousands of other civilian employees and soldiers. I was an eager, 22-year-old student teacher prepared for another exciting day working with my 5th grade class at Dexter Elementary.
The morning routine was going smoothly until later in the 9 o’clock hour when the other 5th grade teacher, Joyce Flatt, quietly came into the classroom and whispered something closely into the ear of my lead teacher, Carroll Thebaud. I could tell something wasn’t quite right and it was after Carroll filled me in that she released me to go down to the teacher’s lounge to catch a glimpse of the live national news and then report back. We continued our day like nothing was going on for the children’s sake. Because we were a military installation we didn’t know if something was going to happen on Fort Benning next. The entire school was kept inside from all outdoor activities, to include recess which was met with expected grumbling from the children. I’ll never forget one of my sweet 5th graders coming up to me and saying “Mrs. Litz, I bet they don’t want us going outside today and getting messy because we have pictures today.” I put on the most confident face and told her I thought that was exactly why we were all going to stay inside that day.
The teachers continued their rotations to the lounge to gather information and report back to one another. There was an eerie underlying calmness that we had to maintain all while knowing that the Pentagon and both World Trade Center buildings were hit and another plane was down in Pennsylvania and there we all were on one of the most prominent military installations in the United States wondering what was going to happen next.
Our innocent children went home that afternoon knowing nothing about what had taken place on our country’s soil. We decided it would be best for their parents to explain and we would field questions the following morning. The following morning didn’t happen. What was once an effortless transition on I-185 driving from Muscogee County onto federal land had turned into a standstill of cars backed up for miles on the 3-lane highway. After a couple hours making no progress southbound, I turned around and returned home later to find out that all schools had cancelled for the day.
The next day Carroll and I held an open discussion with our students. Some were frustrated that we hadn’t told them what was going on on the 11th and others were scared because they wondered what it would mean for their parents and if their mom or dad would have to deploy. We did our best to field their questions and concerns while reassuring the class that we were there for them and their families.
Today, my former 5th graders would be about 21 years old. I’m curious to know where they all ended up and how many of them followed in the footsteps of their mothers and fathers and entered into a military career or have deployed in an effort of the War on Terrorism.

Stephanie Litz

If you have a story to share, email jbeck@nationalinfantryfoundation.org. Over the coming weeks, stories will be posted every 1-2 days. If your submission is selected for publication, you will be notified immediately. The National Infantry Foundation retains the right to edit for clarity and content (grammar errors, offensive language, etc.), but will not alter the intent of the writer. These are your stories in your words.

Friday, September 2, 2011

REMEMBERING 9/11: Your Story, #2 | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, Georgia

Today we continue our series of 9/11 recollections, submitted by readers and published in their own words. 
This story comes from Ms. Elizabeth Johnson, sharing her impressions as a fireman's daughter:
I was 13 years old ten years ago on September 11th. I remember that day very well. My mother had come to pick me up from art class, and my father was on duty at the fire station in Calhoun, GA.
When my mother came in, she told my art teacher what she had seen on the news, and we immediately turned on the TV just in time to watch as the second plane struck the twin towers. It seemed like time stood still. Although I really didn't understand at the time what was going on, I knew it was not a good thing.
As we left and made our way to my orthodontist appointment, we noticed how full the gas pumps were with cars, and then I realized the magnitude of what had happened. Something so severe it affected us, here in Georgia, a place several hundred miles away.
Our church held a special prayer service that evening in remembrance of those found dead, and those not yet found. It was a very sad and quiet time. No one knew exactly what to say.
The next day, this horrific act became personal, and thus began my interest in politics. My father came home, and told us he had trained in rookie school with many of the firefighters that were missing in the buildings' rubble, and that he had still kept in contact with those men - his brothers. Then my father, a mountain of a man, cried in front of us. That was the first time I had seen my father cry like that.
Despite the tragedy of 9/11, for the first time in a very long time, our country bonded. People in California were doing things for people in New York they had never met, people were praying that had not prayed in years, and families were talking that had not spoken to one another for a very long time. I am very proud of what happened to my country during the aftermath, all hate and prejudice aside toward one another.
Elizabeth Johnson

If you have a story to share, email jbeck@nationalinfantryfoundation.org. Over the coming weeks, stories will be posted every 1-2 days. If your submission is selected for publication, you will be notified immediately. The National Infantry Foundation retains the right to edit for clarity and content (grammar errors, offensive language, etc.), but will not alter the intent of the writer. These are your stories in your words.