The Association of the United States Army and The Army Historical Foundation joined forces May 16 to co-host an event recognizing the generosity of major corporate and individual donors to the National Museum of the United States Army.
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA Ret., AUSA president and museum advocate, emceed the event, which included an update on the museum project, a thank you to donors, and a keynote address by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, the most senior member of the Senate and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"We want to say thank you. You can take great pride in the fact that you are helping to ensure that our Army is going to finally have a national landmark and an appropriate place to honor our soldiers who have defended the Constitution and the American people for 236 years," Sullivan said to the over 70 corporate executives and museum supporters in attendance.
Although Secretary of the Army John McHugh and the Army chief of staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, were unable to attend because of conflicting schedules, both echoed Sullivan’s appreciation for and support of the museum in special video presentations.
"My message tonight is a simple one: The Army’s senior civilian and military leaders in the Pentagon are thankful for and appreciative of your efforts to make the National Museum of the United States Army a reality," McHugh said.
Dempsey coupled his thanks with a strong endorsement of the museum project as the Army’s new leader: "A great Army deserves a great museum, and I want you to know that the National Army Museum has my full support."
Gen. William W. Hartzog, USA, Ret., president of the Army Historical Foundation, reported that over $25 million in cash and pledges were received last year, making 2010 the best to date in campaign history and bringing the current campaign total to $59.5 million.
Hartzog noted that Lockheed Martin Corp. and The Boeing Co., with their respective $11 million and $5 million sponsorships of the Education Pavilion and the Soldiers’ Stories Gallery, were among the first corporations to enter the campaign’s Commander-in-Chief’s Circle of Distinction reserved for donors contributing $5 million or more.
He also said that Mr. and Mrs. Preston Caruthers of Arlington, Va., became the first individual contributors of $1 million or more.
Hartzog thanked the following corporate and organizational donors present for their generosity: AM General, BAE Systems, Association of the United States Army, Raytheon Co., Fairfax County, General Dynamics, Commonwealth of Virginia, General Motors Foundation, DynCorp International, ITT Corp., Caterpillar, Inc., Oshkosh Corp., Kongsberg Protech Systems, SAIC, Hensel Phelps Construction, Military Order of the Purple Heart Foundation, Lt Gen. and Mrs. Max Noah, USA, Ret., Calibre, and Agility Defense and Government Services.
Inouye delivered a moving personal account of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the impact his WW II Army service had on his life and career.
He said, "The Army shaped the course of my life," and "I was the enemy one day, a Senator the next, and now the President Pro Tem. This can happen only in one place—here in the United States."
A supporter of the museum, Inouye added, "I will do all I can to make this museum a reality. It’s been 236 years in the making and it’s about time."
Army vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, thanked Inouye for co-sponsoring the Army Commemorative Coin Act, and presented him with one of the first 2011 Army commemorative silver dollars produced by the US Mint.
The Army Historical Foundation, designated by the Army as the official fundraising entity for the $200 million Capital Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army, will incorporate the new conceptual renderings into its publicity and fundraising efforts.
For more information about the museum and the Army Commemorative Coins visit www.armyhistory.org.