About the Monument
North Country Honors the Mountain - Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of the 10th Mountain Division Soldiers and their family members and the Fort Drum Department of the Army Civilians
The Story Of The Monument
The North Country Honors the Mountain monument was designed, built and unveiled on July 1, 2016 by the North Country community as an enduring statement of the community’s gratitude for the sacrifice and service of the 10th Mountain Division’s Soldiers, their Family Members and the Fort Drum Civilian Work Force. Since its reactivation at Fort Drum in 1985, the 10th Mountain Division has been the most deployed unit in the US Army. The monument stands as a lasting tribute to the Division’s history and legacy for generations to come.
The Honor the Mountain Monument was built in Tower Square, the center-piece of historic and beautiful Thompson Park, a Fredrick Olmstead designed park, in Watertown, NY. It is an important addition to the community and a visible reminder of the unique relationship the North Country community have with our military neighbors at Fort Drum.
Behind the Monument
The monument has four sides and is shaped like a mountain rising from the ground with rough cut edges and jagged peaks. It serves as a fitting tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. Through bronze reliefs and interpretive signage, the monument tells the story of the 10th Mountain Division’s history from its activation in 1943 to present day:
- Its activation in 1943; training at Camp Hale, Colorado; and the division’s combat operations at Riva Ridge, Mount Belvedere and in the Po River Valley in Italy in 1945 during World War Two;
- The 1985 Reactivation of the division at Ft Drum, New York; its manning, equipping and training for combat readiness; its first major operation in support of the people to south Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew; to its humanitarian and combat operations deployments to Somalia, Haiti and Balkans through 2001;
- And most recently, the Division’s more than 40 combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 until present day.
We intentionally left the fourth side blank without a bronze relief. While 2016 celebrates the 31st year since the 1985 reactivation of the Division at Fort Drum, the year 2035 will mark the 50th anniversary of the reactivation. We hope that a future generation of North Country citizens will commemorate that milestone anniversary with a fourth bronze relief depicting the Division’s continued history so that the next generation can fully appreciate and understand how much we here today cherish our relationship with the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum. Additionally, they can unearth the time capsule that was planted under the fourth side.
The Bronze Reliefs
The Architect and Engineer
Depicted on the monument are the three Medal of Honor recipients from the 10th Mountain Division:
Sergeant 1st Class Jared C. Monti: Jared Christopher Monti 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of life in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006. Monti was born in Abington, Massachusetts, on September 20, 1975. He enlisted in the Army in March 1993. Highlights of his citation: On 21 June 2006, SFC Monti, then a staff sergeant, was the assistant patrol leader for a 16-man patrol tasked to conduct surveillance in the Gowardesh region. The patrol was to provide up-to-date intelligence, interdict enemy movement and ensure early warning for the squadron’s main effort. As nightfall approached, the patrol was attacked by a well-organized enemy force of at least 60 personnel. Outnumbered four-to-one, SFC Monti’s patrol was in serious danger of being overrun. The enemy fighters had established two support-by-fire positions directly above the patrol in a densely wooded ridgeline. SFC Monti immediately returned fire and ordered the patrol to seek cover and return fire. He then initiated calls for indirect fire and close air support danger-close to the patrol’s position. He did this while simultaneously directing the patrol’s fires. When SFC Monti realized that a member of the patrol, Private First Class (PFC) Brian J. Bradbury, was critically wounded and exposed 10 meters from cover, without regard for his personal safety, he advanced to within three feet of PFC Bradbury’s position. But he was forced back by intense RPG fire. He tried again to secure PFC Bradbury, but he was forced to stay in place again as the enemy intensified its fires. The remaining patrol members coordinated covering fires and he advanced a third time toward the wounded Soldier. But he only took a few steps before he was mortally wounded by an RPG. About the same time, the indirect fires and CAS he called for began raining down on the enemy’s position. The firepower broke the enemy attack, killing 22 enemy fighters. SFC Monti’s actions prevented the patrol’s position from being overrun, saved his team’s lives and inspired his men to fight on against overwhelming odds.
We are eternally grateful to the local individuals and organizations who worked tirelessly to make the monument a reality: The City of Watertown; Checkpoint Graphics, Inc.; The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce; Inkwell Graphix; Land Pro, Inc; Lawman Heating & Cooling, Inc.; Jake’s Lawn Care; Jefferson Concrete Corporation; Taylor Concrete Products, Inc.; T. F. Wright & Sons Granite Foundry; Vespa Sand & Stone; VideoWorx; and the 1000 Island International Tourism Council.
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