WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D, and Jerry Moran along with U.S. Congressmen Ron Estes, Tracey Mann and Jake LaTurner, sent a letter to President Biden and U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle requesting immediate approval of project plans submitted by the National Park Service for the addition of 631 names to the First Division Monument, located on the White House grounds in Washington, D.C.
“First Division soldiers have always been the first deployed to protect our nation’s interests in conflicts around the world,” members stated in the letter. “We owe it to these brave men and women, who made the ultimate sacrifice, to have their names added to the monument in a timely and efficient manner.”
The National Park Service maintains the First Division Monument; however, approval by the White House and Secret Service are necessary for construction crews to access the White House grounds. The goal is to have the names added and the monument finalized by Memorial Day 2024.
The First Division Monument was built in 1924 and sits on a plaza in President’s Park, west of the White House and south of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) at the corner of 17th Street and State Place, NW. The monument was built using funds raised by the Society of the First Infantry Division and has been updated only three times.
In 2018, Congress passed legislation led by members of the Kansas delegation that authorized the National Park Service to add the names of First Division soldiers killed in action during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 1st Infantry Division is based in Fort Riley. Organized in June 1917, it is the oldest and longest continuously serving active duty division in the US Army today. The Big First, as it’s known, as seen active combat in all American wars since 1917, except the Korean War.