The 1st Division Monument in Washington, D.C.

The 1st Division Monument in Washington, D.C. bears the names of fallen Big Red One soldiers.

Members of the Society of the 1st Infantry Division will lay a wreath on the 1st Division Monument in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day.

The society’s Executive Director Phyllis Fitzgerald of Junction City will be right alongside them, serving as the master of ceremonies.

The wreath laying ceremony will be livestreamed on the Society of the 1st Infantry Division Facebook, according to Fitzgerald. People can watch the ceremony starting at 10 a.m. Central Time online.

“The laying of that wreath on our monument up there is our way of continuing to honor the sacrifices of all of our fallen comrades,” she said.

The 1st Infantry Division has lost more than 19,000 soldiers since World War I, Fitzgerald said. The monument bears the names of more than 12,000 soldiers who died in the line of duty and the Society of the 1st Infantry Division continues to campaign to add more names to the monument — those killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom, according to Fitzgerald.

“It’s all part of what our mission at the society is, which is to carry on the memory and the legacy of the 1st Infantry Division and to honor the memory and the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers of our unit,” she said. “That’s one way that we do that is that we’ve got that nice monument.”

The society was unable to carry out the wreath laying last year due to COVID-19.

“We’re excited that we’re going to get to put that wreath on that monument,” Fitzgerald said.

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