NEWS | Aug. 20, 2018

Indianapolis honors the Hoosier President

By Catherine Carroll

“Great lives do not go out, they go on.”

These words were spoken by President Benjamin Harrison more than a century ago. The truth of them can be seen by the legacy he left behind and the influence it still carries to this day.

Every year in August, the 88th Readiness Division (RD) joins the citizens of Indianapolis to honor the lineage and legacy of this great Hoosier.

Benjamin Harrison is the only United States president elected from the State of Indiana. Not only was he the 23rd president, serving from 1889-1893, but he was also the centennial president, inaugurated 100 years after George Washington.

This year, Brigadier General Tony L. Wright, 88th RD deputy commanding general, represented President Donald Trump at a wreath laying ceremony for the Hoosier President at Crown Hill Cemetery, in Indianapolis, on Aug. 18, to commemorate Harrison’s 185th birthday.

“Today, we gather together, as we have for many years, to lay a wreath in honor of not simply a former president, but a man who was a military and political leader in a generation that preserved the union, ended slavery, and transformed our country from an agricultural to an industrial society,” Wright said during his speech.

“During his lifetime the intercontinental railroads allowed goods produced everywhere - to be sold anywhere, communications by telephone and telegraph connected people in different regions for the first time, corporations were founded, and 11 new states were added,’ Wright continued.

“Now, we stand and pay tribute on a day set aside to honor a man who devoted his entire life to the growth of our great nation.”

Harrison continued in the footsteps of five generations of Harrisons’, serving his state and his country as a dedicated military leader before following his grandfathers, President William Henry Harrison’s, path into presidency.

Harrison stated in his last inaugural address to congress on in 1892, “We carry the great impulse and increase of these years into the future.” It is now that future and the legacy of the Harrison family and the life of Benjamin Harrison himself has been a part of that great impulse and increase into the accomplishments and aspirations of our nation.

Crown Hill Cemetery is the third largest cemetery in the country and is the burial site of such famous people as President Benjamin Harrison, poet James Whitcomb Riley, Colonel Eli Lilly, 3 U.S. Vice Presidents, 14 U.S. senators, 11 Indiana governors, and 25 Indiana mayors.