FORT BENNING, GA (WXTX) - Today's grand opening takes us through Fort Benning's gates -- a journey of several decades.
In fact, up until March of 2008, the National Infantry Museum operated out of a much smaller facility on post.
The National Infantry Museum was actually established all the way back in 1925, built first on Fort Benning. The former museum housed about 44,000 artifacts and archival documents.
But after securing federal grants and tens of millions of dollars in donations, it was time for a bigger and better tribute to our infantry. On September 21, 2004, ground was broken on Patriot Park under the watch of Brigadier General Benjamin Freakley, then the commanding officer at Fort Benning.
"This is what our museum will be--the story of these men. not bricks, not mortar, not displays, not artifacts, but memories, stories of the deeds of our infantry," said Brigadier General Freakley.
Construction on the impressive structure officially started in June 2006 and by July of 2008 the museum's exterior monuments were going up.
In the past 2 years, hundreds upon hundreds of construction workers, artists and support personnel have been working non-stop to do right by our infantry -- an effort that is certainly appreciated.