ABILENE, Kan. – About 100
Soldiers from units across the 1st Infantry Division spent the day at the
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home to help
commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who
grew up in Abilene, served as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War
II and later president. Another Kansan, Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner, served as
commander of the “Big Red One” on D-Day. Huebner grew up in Bushton, Kansas,
about two hours west of Fort Riley.
Soldiers of the 1st Inf.
Div. participated in the Eisenhower ceremony at all levels, from helping set up
and man the event to portraying World War II-era Soldiers.
Maj. Martin O’Donnell, 1st Inf.
Div. deputy public affairs officer, portrayed Eisenhower and read the general’s
famous “Order of the Day” address.
“Soldiers, Sailors and
Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force,” O’Donnell read.
While dressed in a replica of
Eisenhower’s uniform. “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward
which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.
The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In
company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring
about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi
tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a
“Your task will not be an easy
one. Your enemy is will trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II,
1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general, and Brig. Christopher Ghika,
1st Inf. Div. commanding general for readiness, were joined by Lt. Gen. Mark A.
Milley, III Corps commander, to lay a wreath at the Eisenhower Presidential
Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in honor of the anniversary.
The 1st Inf. Div. Band performed a concert June 7 as part
of the presidential library, museum and boyhood home’s D-Day+70 activities.