Hometown Honors Sullivan, McConville and 16 Others

Hometown Honors Sullivan, McConville and 16 Others

Retired soldiers
Photo by: U.S. Army/Lt. Col. Mary Ricks

Eighteen military leaders, including Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, former president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army, were honored Sept. 11 by their shared hometown of Quincy, Massachusetts.

City officials honored the general officers by dedicating Generals Bridge and Park to the men, all of whom were raised in Quincy.

Already known as the “City of Presidents” for being the birthplace of John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, Quincy also has the distinction of being the hometown of several senior military leaders. In addition to McConville and Sullivan, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford and Maj. Gen. Francis McGinn, who still serves in the Army National Guard, also grew up in Quincy.

The new bridge and park are located at the corner of General Dunford Drive and General McConville Way in Quincy Center, according to city officials. Generals Park features three 7-foot bronze statues of Dunford, McConville and Sullivan, the three highest-ranking generals on the list. The statues were sculpted by world-renowned sculptor Sergey Elanbekov, according to city officials.

Several other leaders, including McGinn, will be honored with bronze busts in the park area. In addition, the names of 11 Quincy generals, dating back to the 1700s, have been engraved in the park’s commemorative stonework, the city said.

Sullivan, who was the 32nd Army chief of staff and served as AUSA president and CEO for more than 18 years before stepping down in 2016, has continued to contribute to the community after retirement, said retired Gen. Dennis Reimer, the 33rd Army chief of staff who now serves on AUSA’s board of directors.

“You could say that Gen. Sullivan contributed almost more in retirement than he did during active duty, and that's a high bar,” Reimer said as he introduced Sullivan during the dedication ceremony. 

Steadfast dedication to service members keeps Sullivan involved in projects that serve them, he said. 

“If you stick your hand up in the air at some recruiting station and say, ‘Send me, send me,’ you are my hero,” Sullivan said. “There's nothing like being in a uniform and serving the United States of America. I have told many people, if I could do it again, I would. And I am not kidding.” 

McConville, the current and 40th Army chief of staff, took a moment to recognize those lost on 9/11 and service members who died in the past 20 years, including the 13 killed in a suicide bomb attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26. 

He then praised Quincy residents for being people of character who are motivated to serve. “People from Quincy are honorable, they're resilient,” McConville said. “They're hardworking patriots who are willing to serve their country in a time of war, knowing they are putting themselves in harm's way, so others may enjoy freedom and prosperity.” 

Dunford, the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized that Americans’ willingness to serve will keep the U.S. strong. 

“What I learned from being away is we can't take what we have for granted,” Dunford said. “I also learned that the real strength of our country and what will allow us to remain the land of the free and the home of the brave is the willingness, the simple willingness, of good citizens to answer the call to service.”

McConville statue
Photo by U.S. Army/Lt. Col. Mary Ricks