Scorching heat and suffocating humidity couldn't keep the crowds away from today's grand opening of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park.
Approximately 3,000 people came out to witness history in the making.
A prelude to the big event -- which featured former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell as the day's guest speaker: More than 200 Infantry basic training graduates with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment marching across Soldier Field. Powell's wife, Alma Powell, crying as the sea of young men crested the hill leading from World War II Street toward the stands packed with proud mothers, fathers, wives and siblings.
"Those kids were not even born when I first saw one of these," Alma Powell told the Ledger-Enquirer. "It is a simple tradition that builds on itself from generation to generation. I was thinking about our days. It was very emotional."
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Please read tomorrow's Ledger-Enquirer or log back on to ledger-enquirer.com for the full story from today's graduation and Infantry Museum opening.