12thInfantry Regimental Monument Dedication - May 31, 2017
Members of all battalions pose in front of the newly dedicated 12th Infantry Monument on May 31, 2017
Written by Dennis Witt
The project that so many were involved in was brought to a successful conclusion on May 31st with the dedication of the 12th Infantry Regiment Monument on the National Infantry Museum's Walk of Honor. Over 200 people attended the dedication ceremony which the NIM people said was one of the largest groups for a dedication in a while.
We want to thank all those who worked so hard to get this done, especially Ed Northrop and Michael and Bob Pearson. We also want to thank all who made monetary contributions to the project because without them, the project could not have been done.
This project started when one of our Red Warriors from Vietnam, Rusty Armstrong, toured the Walk of Honor last summer. He saw monuments to the 8th and 22nd Regiments, two regiments that have long been a part of the 4th Infantry Division as sister regiments to the 12th Infantry Regiment, but saw no monument to the 12th. As a veteran of the 12th, that bothered him so he decided to do something about it. He began contacting members of the Red Warriors Vietnam Association (1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment) to see if there was any interest in getting a monument built for the 12th. The answers he received were all a resounding, "YES!". People associated with the 2nd and 3rd Battalions came aboard as well. Soon, a team was assembled for the various tasks that need to be done, a coordinator was selected, Ed Northrop, and the wife of a member of the Red Warriors Vietnam Association, Michael Pearson, was selected to design the monument.
Then fund raising began. Once Michael completed her design and approval was given by all, bids went out to determine the actual amount needed to build the monument. A total cost estimate of $78,000 was received and that amount became the goal. Incredibly, the $78,000 was collected in only six months. Construction began about three months ago and it was completed several weeks before the dedication date arrived.
Those of us fortunate enough to attend the dedication ceremony were able to meet many veterans of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd battalions. Also present were active duty enlisted men and officers from the 1/12th and 199th Infantry Brigade (two battalions of the 12th served in the 199th in Vietnam). The 2/12 is currently deployed and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th battalions are inactive.
The dedication ceremony itself was very well done. Since this is a Monument, not a Memorial, it is dedicated not only to those who gave their lives, but also to all who served or will serve in the 12th Regiment, specifically the enlisted men. All speakers were enlisted men, or at least started as enlisted men, and most of them were Vietnam veterans. The ceremony ended with the unveiling of the monument and a great deal of appreciation for it's beauty and for the accomplishment of getting it done.
The monument did indeed turn out to be very beautiful. A true work of art. Excellent and detailed workmanship all around. Veterans, active members, and future members of the 12th Infantry Regiment can all be extremely proud if it. It's prominent features are: a list of the 12th's Medal of Honor recipients (7), a narrative history of the 12th Regiment, a list of the conflicts in which the regiment participated, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Infantry Crossed Rifles, the regimental motto, and the regimental crest.