A Memorial to the Ironhorse Division, the 4th ID [Archive] - Glock Talk


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07-04-2004, 19:47

The image of the Memorial is my interpretive collage.
Iraqi Memorial

How grateful would you be if you had lost your freedom and somehow regained it?
Iraqi sculptor Kalat examines the statue of an American Soldier made from melting down bronze statues of Saddam Hussein.
Changing faces: statue honors fallen heroes

By Spc. Benjamin R. Kibbey

TIKRIT, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 6, 2004) -- When he was forced to fashion statues of Saddam Hussein on horseback, the Iraqi sculptor, Kalat, had no idea that someday he would melt them down to create a memorial for American Soldiers.

The two original statues -- which adorned a gate at the palace complex where 4th Infantry Division’s headquarters group is located -- were removed with explosives in early July, said 1st Sgt. Mark Anderson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

The statues were cut into pieces by the 555th Engineer Group and shipped to Kalat who reshaped the chunks of bronze into a likeness of an American Soldier. A small girl comforts the Soldier as he mourns a fallen comrade.

The likeness was fashioned from a photograph of 1st Sgt. Glen Simpson, the former HHC first sergeant, who knelt for a picture that has become an immortal portrait in bronze, said Command Sgt. Maj. Chuck Fuss, 4th Inf. Div. command sergeant major.

Kalat spent several months sculpting and casting the statue.

“Though he created the original statues of Saddam along with another artist, he created the 4th Infantry Division memorial through his own design,” Anderson said.

The sculpture is based on a scene many in Iraq have witnessed in one form or another.

A Soldier kneels before a memorial of boots, rifle and helmet - his forehead resting in the hollow of his hand. Behind and to his right stands a small Iraqi girl with her hand reaching out to touch his shoulder.

The statue evokes emotion. The girl was added to the statue to remind people of why the sacrifice was made, Fuss said.

“It’s about freedom for this country, but it’s also about the children who will grow up in a free society,” he said.

Sitting in a former palace of Saddam now, the statue will soon be shuttled to Fort Hood, where it will become part of a larger memorial project at the 4th Inf. Div. museum.

Fuss and Anderson credited the Soldiers’ generosity and Simpson’s vision for the lasting gift that, in the end, remembers fallen comrades.

“I think this is the best way we can honor their families and their memories,” Fuss said.

“Really that’s what it’s for - a tribute to all the Soldiers over here who lost their lives,” Anderson said. “They will never be forgotten and they will always be heroes in our eyes.”

(Editor’s note: Spc. Benjamin, R. Kibbey is a member of Task Force Ironhorse PAO.)

This picture is of the statue was made by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, who for years was forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad.

This artist was so grateful that the Americans liberated his country he melted 3 of the fallen Saddam heads and made a memorial statue dedicated to the American soldiers and their fallen comrades.

Kalat worked on this night and day for several months. To the left of the kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the loss of his comrade in arms.

It is currently on display outside the palace that is now home to the 4th Infantry division and will eventually be shipped and shown at the memorial museum in Fort Hood, Texas.

Individual rights and liberties is the keystone of freedom everywhere!

Since this story was written, the Memorial Statue has been placed at Ft. Hood.

American Forces Press Service
By Donna Miles

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2004 -- A bronze statue of a soldier mourning a fallen comrade traveled from Tikrit, Iraq, to Fort Hood, Texas, this week to become the focal point of a memorial to the soldiers of Task Force Ironhorse who have died during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The statue arrived at Fort Hood's Robert Gray Army Airfield Feb. 16, along with the first 60 soldiers in the task force to redeploy from Iraq, said Capt. Charles Armstrong, secretary of the general staff for the rear detachment.

Armstrong said the statue will be moved today to a 4th Infantry Division storage site as preparations for the memorial continue. Groundbreaking is expected to take place within the next two weeks, he said.

Task Force Ironhorse soldiers donated the $18,000 to cover the cost of the statue, created by an Iraqi sculptor from the melted-down remnants of statues he had been forced to sculpt for former dictator Saddam Hussein, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, public affairs officer for the 4th Infantry Division at its Iraq headquarters in Tikrit.

The 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood is raising private contributions to cover the $60,000 cost of the larger memorial project, Aberle said.

The Ironhorse statue depicts a soldier kneeling before a memorial of boots, rifle and helmet. With him stands a young Iraqi girl with her hand reaching out to touch the shoulder of the mourning soldier. Army 1st Sgt. Glen Simpson, former first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, posed for the picture used to create the statue.

"The memorial will recognize those brave Ivy Division soldiers that have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our nation during Operation Iraqi Freedom," said Ted Kostich, president of the Ironhorse Chapter of the National 4th Infantry Division Association of Fort Hood.

Aberle said 84 Ironhorse soldiers have been killed in Iraq.

To donate funds for the memorial, write: Ironhorse Chapter of the National 4th Infantry Division Association, PO Box 5009, Fort Hood, TX 76544.