News 12 at 11 o' clock / Friday, March 2, 2012
FORT GORDON, Ga. -- The Army Signal Corps is the branch of the Army responsible for communications and information systems. They've called Fort Gordon home since the 1970s, and before that, Monmouth, N.J.
A few pieces of the Signal Corps never made the move down South, but that changed Friday.
A time capsule first buried in the Signal Corps' original home, New Jersey, was relocated to Fort Gordon. In addition, a park was re-dedicated to honor a Signal Corps general, and a Spanish-American War monument was relocated.
Nicolas Maldonado is a soldier stationed at Fort Gordon and has been helping set up for Friday's ceremony all week long.
"It's an honor to be part of this ceremony," he said.
Sentiments that are shared by many who were there for the historic event at Fort Gordon.
"It's very important to insure the history of the Signal Corps is not lost and it's not forgotten," said Steven Rauch, the Army Signal Corps historian at Fort Gordon.
And to help make sure that history isn't forgotten, a few monuments and a very special park dedication found a new home.
"Fort Gordon is the home of the Signal Corps and it became the official home in 1974," Rauch said.
A ceremony with full military honors, including the firing of canons, was held Friday to rededicate a park at Fort Gordon as the Dunwoody Memorial Park. The park is named for Brigadier General Henry C. Dunwoody, who was considered a pioneer in the early years of the Signal Corps.
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, great-granddaughter of General H.C. Dunwoody, spoke at Friday's ceremony.
"Success on the battlefield still comes down to Signal Corps soldiers, doing whatever it takes to make sure the message gets through," she said.
And her family has a long-standing legacy of service to our country.
"I can't even begin to imagine the look on my great grandfather's face if he actually new his great-granddaughter was a four-star general," he said.
If being a four-star general wasn't impressive enough, she's also the first ever female to claim that honor.
"I really hope he's smiling down on me right now, but he's probably rolling over in his grave," she laughed.
Her sister also made the trip, and she's no stranger to the military, either.
"In fact, she was the third female helicopter pilot in this Army," Dunwoody said.
Dunwoody wasn't the only general at the service. Four flags flew to represent four generals who where present.
"It's not often that you get this high level of authority in one place at one time. It's a very unique experience," Maldonado said.
And it's definitely not something you see in one place every day.
"I've never seen it, and I've never heard of it actually," he said.
A Spanish-American War monument was also unveiled at the service, paying tribute to the Signal Corps soldiers who served in that war.
Another item that was moved down from New Jersey: a time capsule.
It was buried 50 years ago in Monmouth for the Signal Corps' 100th anniversary. It's at Fort Gordon now, where it will remain sealed until the year 2060 -- the Signal Corps' 200th anniversary.