Fallen Hero McGinnis at Center of New Global War on Terrorism Memorial
COLUMBUS, Ga. (EYT) – The Global War on Terrorism Memorial, which includes a prominently-featured statue of local fallen hero Spc. Ross McGinnis, was officially dedicated Monday at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia.
(Photos Courtesy US ARMY Times/Patrick A. Albright/MCoE PAO Photographer)
Thousands gathered at the dedication ceremony to remember the sacrifices of our brave service members, serving in all branches of the armed forces, who have given their lives in battle since 9/11.
The memorial includes elements that reference the attacks of September 11, 2001, which triggered the Global War on Terrorism, and our response to them. At the front are two concrete pillars representing the Twin Towers. Bridging the pillars is a 13-foot steel beam that was pulled from the wreckage of the North Tower and given to the museum by New York City firefighters. The beam is attached to each pillar at different heights representing where each was struck by the terrorist-operated aircraft. The North Tower was struck between floors 93 and 99 by hijacked American Airlines Flight 11. The South Tower was struck between floors 78 and 84 by United Airlines Flight 175.
In the center of the memorial is a five-sided platform paying tribute to those who were killed in the Pentagon. Atop the platform is a bronze figure of Spc. Ross McGinnis, a native of Knox.
Spc. Ross McGinnis, son of Tom and Romayne McGinnis of Knox, earned the Medal of Honor for an unbelievable act of courage in Iraq on December 4, 2006, when he rolled onto a hand grenade and absorbed the blast to save four of his comrades.
The McGinnis statue represents the leader of the nine-person Infantry team. Flanking the statue are the other eight members of an Infantry Squad, collectively representing the cornerstone of American military might. Each is outfitted in uniforms and equipment in use by the Army upon deployment.
Retired U.S. Army Gen. John Abizaid (pictured above) was the keynote speaker.
Maj. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz (U.S. Army retired), Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent (U.S. Marine Corps, retired), and Lt. Yonina E. Creditor (U.S. Navy) also spoke at the ceremony.
McGinnis is the only soldier whose likeness is captured in one of the nine bronze statues in the memorial.
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