Division Memorials - Fort Lawton

70th Regional Support Command Event

Led by Andy McMahon, Ted Mataxis, and State Coordinator Dick Beyer, more than thirty "original Trailblazers" including family members, recently made the trek to Fort Lawton, the scenic and historic army reserve post in Northwest Seattle. In addition to the Northwest states, representatives traveled from CA, AZ, TX, NC and SC to join in the affair. The highlight of the two day event for the "old soldiers" was the June 24th dedication of a monument to the 70th Infantry Division.

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Gen Collins presenting Ted Mataxis with plaque for "Outstanding
Service" following Ted's address at the Monument Dedication.

Invitations had been extended by the 70th RSC Commanding Officer, Major General James M. Collins, to participate in the "Spirit of the Northwest", a series of celebratory and commemorative events at Fort Lawton. Saturday started with an Open House at Leisy Center, followed by an acknowledgement of the Armyís 225th Birthday. With 70th RSC units assembled on Trailblazer Field, the Colors were posted and General Collins addressed the audience.

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Next the 57th Anniversary of the activation of the 70th Infantry Division was recognized by 70th RSC Command Sergeant Major William Scott and Ted Mataxis who delivered a stirring speech, much of it by memory when a gust of wind carried off his notes (Ted was in great form, never missing a beat). Following Andy McMahonís comments he, General Collins and the 70th RSCís most recently promoted PFC jointly unveiled our newest monument, a replica of the Spicheren Heights and Fort Benning memorial stones.

Left: Andy McMahon at podium on Trailblazer Field describing 70th Infantry Division history and accomplishments.

The inscription below the ax blade shaped granite reads as follows:

Baptized in Fire
Always Self-Reliant
Brotherhood into the Future

Erected and dedicated by the
70th Regional Support Command on 25 June 2000

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The form of this monument is a replica of a memorial erected by the people of the District of Forbach in France on Spicheren Heights, site of a major victory of the 70th which was dedicated on the 50th Anniversary of V.E. Day, 8 May 1995.

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A cake cutting reception followed in the Leisy Center. Starting at 5 PM everyone was invited to the USO Dance and Canteen in Harvey Hall with the 104th Division Band providing the music. One of the attractive, blond female members of the 70th RSC, in battle dress and sporting a sign "GIís - 10 cents a dance", added a bit of levity to the evening and probably brought back some memories of long ago.

Sunday morning the Chaplain conducted a short chapel service on Trailblazer Field prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony opening the 70th RSCís impressive new administration building. In the afternoon the Korean War Veterans were recognized with a 50th Anniversary Commemoration ceremony.

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Assembly of "original Trailblazers" following unveiling of Monument at
Fort Lawton.

As the sun set on Fort Lawton there was general agreement that the "young Trailblazers" had done an outstanding job of hosting our group while demonstrating their recognition of and appreciation for the traditions and accomplishments that we established more that 50 years ago. As a foot note, Frank Ellis assures us that the Fort Lawton Monument will be included in the nearly completed Trailblazer Monument Directory.

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