The Bayonet

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

Post gateway to grace official state map cover

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ATLANTA — The State Transportation Board voted Thursday to showcase the Columbus Gateway entrance to Fort Benning on the cover of Georgia’s official state map. The Victory Drive entrance to Fort Benning serves as a welcome to Soldiers and visitors alike.

Every two years, the Department of Transportation prints nearly 2 million maps for distribution across Georgia, and the board selects a photo depicting something special and unique in one of the state’s 13 congressional districts. This time, the clear choice was the photo of the Columbus Gateway, which was completed in late 2011.

Working with Georgia DOT, the leaders at Fort Benning and Consolidated Government officials, the Columbus Gateway Foundation completed construction of this structure encompassing 56 acres, 20 flags, 20 fountains, and life-size statues atop the gateway pillars. The monument’s four statues are two bald eagles, a “Trooper on the Plains,” representing the Armor School, and a “Follow Me” Infantryman, all well-known symbols to members of the military and especially important to those attending the base’s Armor and Infantry training facilities.

“I am so proud that our gateway was chosen for the cover of this year’s map,” said Sam Wellborn, a member of the Columbus Gateway Foundation and Georgia DOT board member. “I worked side-by-side with John Flournoy to accomplish his vision of this great entrance to the base — an entry that leaves no doubt about this community’s respect of the military and those that serve here and call Columbus home. What we have built will stand for generations, and it is an honor for me to have my photo entry selected for the cover of Georgia’s state map.”

Wellborn thanked his fellow board members for their support of the gateway photo, and recognized the leadership and dedication of Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who was in attendance. He said Columbus would soon see more great things in the community as a result of the transportation referendum investments that would be happening over the next 10 years.

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