10th Mountain Division Monument Sculptor Returns to Fort Drum | Best Stories


WATERTOWN – Sculptor Susan Grant Raymond gazed into the shadow of the Military Mountaineer Statue – which she created 30 years ago – on Wednesday as speakers thanked veterans in a ceremony at the park Fort Drum Memorial.

This was the first time Ms. Raymond, a Colorado-based artist, had attended a Veterans Day event at Fort Drum, despite the Mountaineer Statue and Fallen Warrior Monument playing such a prominent role in the ceremonies. from November 11 through the years. based.

“It is so meaningful for me to be here against the backdrop of my sculptures,” she said after about 100 soldiers and leaders of the 10th Mountain Division and dignitaries from the community gathered to thank the country’s army for its service.

Fort Drum has just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the Military Mountaineer Statue on October 4, 1991. Since then, it has become a symbol for the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, past and present.

Featuring a WWII infantryman helping a modern infantryman climb a mountain, the 17-foot-tall sculpture was originally located at the corner of Mount Belvedere Boulevard and Memorial Drive South, now Enduring Freedom Drive South.

In 2007, the statue was moved, as part of a larger park project that was completed across from Hays Hall, the division’s headquarters – now known as Memorial Park.

Ms Raymond befriended several soldiers from World War II, whom she sought advice from while working on her first statue at Fort Drum. They are all gone now.

She said she missed those friendships.

But she made new friends at the 10th Mountain Division and forged new relationships with Fort Drum and the community of Watertown.

In 2013, she attended the unveiling of the Fallen Warrior Monument, returned to Fort Drum for a 10th Mountain Division reunion two years later, and designed the “Climb the Glory” monument in Thompson Park in 2015.

For this Veterans Day ceremony, she was joined by her daughter, Mariah, before they returned to their Colorado home on Thursday.

At Wednesday morning’s ceremony, Brigadier General Lori Robinson, Deputy Commander General for Support at Fort Drum, and President of Jefferson Community College, Ty Stone, an Air Force veteran, thanked the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, past and present, for their service.

“We are here to help each other,” Brigadier General Robinson said.

President Stone told the soldiers about their “plural sacrifice, noble sacrifice” they made while serving in uniform.

Explaining what she meant by “plural sacrifice,” the soldiers, their spouses and families, and the community all sacrificed themselves for their service, she said.

The college president was an air traffic controller in the Air Force before embarking on a career in nonprofit organizations and then in education.

She invited soldiers to attend the JCC when they leave the military and receive an education, as she did many years ago, she said.

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