Alabama Guardsmen honored on WWI deploymeny 100 year anniversary
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Alabama Guardsmen honored on WWI deployment 100 year anniversary
by Sgt. William Frye
100 years ago to the day, on August 28, 1917, more than 3,500 Soldiers loaded onto trains at Union Station, beginning their journey to France to serve under the 42th Infantry Division, also known as the Rainbow Division. The soldiers of the 167th distinguished themselves in several operations, most notably the battle of Croix Rouge Farm and the capture of Cote de Chatillon. Gen. Douglas MacArthur later wrote, "Two battalions of the 167th Infantry assisted by the 168th on the left, with the greatest courage and most severe losses, seized Croix Rouge Farm on point of bayonet. The unexpectedness and violence, and difficulty of this vital operation cannot be overestimated; the gallantry and courage of the assaulting troops has never been excelled in the Rainbow's history."Maj. Gen. Sheryl E. Gordon, adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard, spoke at the event. "Regardless of the fear and uncertainty, those men laced up their boots, buttoned their jackets, and put on their caps with their heads held high," she said. "Our country was threatened and they were determined to respond. These men left schools, farms, jobs, families and responsibilities with no thought of shirking their duty. More than six hundred of those brave troops did not return to their loved ones, but found an end to this world’s struggles in a land far away. "Nimrod Frazer, Croix Rouge Memorial Foundation, said, 'I thought that it was important to memorialize these 3,677 soldiers." Frazer continued "These men were great fighters and great patriots who did a great service for the United States in World War I. We hope this beautiful piece of art will be an inspiration for all our people.'