The ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the Major General Maurice Rose Armed Forces Reserve Center in Middletown will be held this evening, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m.
Rose who was born in Middletown in 1899, was the highest-ranking American solder killed by enemy fire during World War II.
“There could not be a more perfect choice to name this center after,” praises Vic Damon, the webmaster and historian for the 3rd Armored Division. “Rose is the most accomplished Connecticut-born military man we have and he was born in Middletown ... what better way to honor him?”
Rose, who was killed in action at age 45, just five weeks before World War II was over, spent almost 30 years of his life serving his country. He enlisted at age 17 and saw combat in World War I as well as World War II, where he was the Commander of the 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division. Some say he is World War II’s greatest forgotten hero.
U.S. Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3rd District, said she was pleased the center is named for a local hero.
“The Maurice Rose Armed Forces Reserve Center in Middletown will ensure that our men and women in uniform can get the training and the resources they need to serve our nation to the best of their ability,” said DeLauro. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this new facility on the U.S. Army Reserve, the Connecticut Army National Guard and the Middletown community for years to come.”
According to the 3AD.com web site, Rose’s division, from a position inside Belgium, was the first Allied artillery in the war to fire onto German soil. His division also became the first Allied ground force to invade Germany, the first to capture a German town (Roetgen), and, on the following day, the first to breach the infamous Siegfried Line. Rose is buried in the American Military Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands.
After discovering that Rose, the son of a rabbi, was born in Middletown, a ceremony was held in his honor in 2002. Currently there is a plaque memorializing his birthplace in town. Although his stay in Middletown was short-lived and his family relocated to Denver, CO, where the General Rose Memorial Hospital is named in his honor, Middletown still claims Rose as one of its own and is honored to have been a part of the war hero’s life.
To honor this hero, President Obama signed into law the naming of the Major General Maurice Rose Armed Forces Reserve Unit. This state-of-the-art complex sits on a 42-acre site strategically located adjacent to Interstate 91 and halfway between New Haven and Hartford. The center is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer project that consolidates the state’s National Guard and Reserve facilities. It houses classrooms, areas for physical training, armor, a motor pool and more. It will be the home of 700 citizen soldiers on a rotating basis.
“This building is gorgeous, it’s amazing and a perfect place to honor a hero,” added Damon.
Echoeing those sentiments, retired U.S. Army man and former head of the Middletown Department of Consumer Protection Phil Cacciola said, "This complex could not have been named after a more distinguished gentleman. General Rose was a quite a man!"
The ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication for this complex was originally slated for Saturday afternoon; however, in honor of Rose’s Jewish descent, the time was moved to 6 p.m. so as not to interfere with the Shabbot.
The Armed Forces Reserve Center is located in Cuchia Park. It is located at the end of Industrial Park Road and Smith Street in Middletown. The best way to get there is to take Route 372 Cromwell and then turn south on Industrial Park Road, which will take you right to the facility.