The following is an editorial from guest Todd Strange, Mayor of Montgomery, which first aired on Thursday, August 24, 2017:
At 5 p.m. on Monday, August 28, a historic event will occur at Montgomery’s Union Station. A commemoration, exactly 100 years to the day, nearly 3,700 Alabamians left Union Station to serve their country in World War I. These men comprised the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the famous 42nd Rainbow Division, and their contributions in multiple battles were vital to winning the war. Their bravery fighting alongside the French at the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm was a turning point in the war. Success was costly, as that battle remains the second deadliest in Alabama history.
While survivors received a hero’s welcome back home, time has faded remembrance of their sacrifice. Next week, a bronze sculpture of the Rainbow Soldier designed by world-renowned British sculptor James Butler will be dedicated in their honor - ensuring they will never be forgotten.
This statue also memorializes a bond between France and Alabama in remembrance of their native sons who fought and died for a noble cause. The original casting of the statue stands in France on the site of the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm. And now, its counterpart will stand in Montgomery.
The public is invited to attend this momentous event, and all Alabamians are encouraged to research their ancestry. Throughout Alabama there are many descendants of these soldiers, and their presence would add even more meaning to the ceremony. To learn more about the event and to access a roster of the 167th, visit this link.
We hope to see you Monday at Montgomery’s Union Station.
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