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Mar. 24—Noting the Big Red One Year of Honor celebration, Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday declared that the Year of Honor be recognized throughout the state.
During 2021, the 1st Infantry Division is emphasizing examples of honorable living by its enlisted members and civilian employees. Some of the events during the year involve honoring Fort Riley's 37 Medal of Honor recipients and hosting regular leadership panels.
The Medal of Honor is the military's highest and most prestigious award for combat valor.
"For just over 100 years," Maj. Gen. D.A. Sims, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, said on Tuesday, "the men and women serving in the 1st Infantry Division have demonstrated valor and selflessness from the fields of France to today's (COVID-19) vaccination lines in Miami and Dallas. ... Over 2021, we aim to make the men and women of our organization better soldiers, (non-commissioned officers) and officers, better parents, better siblings, better people in all ways.
"We are ecstatic that this proclamation helps to shout that intent from the rotunda of the Capitol building."
Kelly said signing the proclamation was particularly meaningful for her as her father was a career military man who served during World War II, as well as in the Korean Conflict.
"I spent my childhood at military posts all over the United States and in Japan and in Germany," Kelly said. "One of the many great things that I found when I moved to Kansas was Kansas' strong tradition of supporting and honoring our service members and our veterans. ... Today we're going to honor (the 1st Infantry Division's) members' sacrifices and celebrate their legacy."