On Thursday, August 10, 2017, Walt Disney World celebrated the centennial, or 100-year anniversary, of the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Over 130 veterans and soldiers were in attendance at the Magic Kingdom Park for the event.
Festivities included performances by the division’s 16-member chorus and brass quintet in Liberty Square and Town Square. A special American flag retreat was also presented in Town Square.
During the ceremony, it was announced that 89-year old Mel Greene, who joined the 82nd Airborne Division after World War II, would be this year’s recipient of The All-American Medal of Honor–an award given in recognition of distinguished service to the division. At the conclusion of the flag retreat, the airborne division completed a unit march down Main Street, U.S.A.
The 82nd Airborne Division is an elite, airborne infantry unit based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Established in August 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I, they specialize in joint forcible entry operations. Dan Cockerell, Vice President of Magic Kingdom Park, stated that “as a company founded by two brothers [Walt and Roy O.] who served their nation in uniform during World War I, Disney has always had a strong connection to the armed services and looks for ways to show our support of active-duty military, veterans and their families.”
The unit’s 71st National Association Convention, entitled “100 Years ‘All American’ August 1917 to August 2017,” is also taking place in Orlando this week–August 9-13, 2017.
[Source: Disney Parks Blog]