[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 25, 2009
Observances

Ceremony marks founder's birth date

Fort McCoy’s commemoration of “A Century of Service to America” continued as dignitaries from Fort McCoy and Sparta gathered Sept. 5 at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Sparta, Wis., to mark the birth date of Robert Bruce McCoy.

“For all of us present, whether from Fort McCoy or the Sparta community, we are the benefactors of the life’s work of Robert Bruce McCoy,” said Al Fournier, Fort McCoy deputy to the garrison commander.

“It has been said that a person’s life should not be measured solely by the years that they lived, but rather by what they accomplished during those years here on earth,” he said. “Today we gather to pay our respects to a person who truly accomplished many great things during his lifetime.”

McCoy was born Sept. 5, 1867 in Kenosha, Wis. His family moved to the Sparta area shortly after his birth. He grew up here, attended school here, lived here during his adult life and raised his family here.
Photo: The Robert Bruce McCoy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Color Guard (left) and Gary L. Peterson, president of the Sparta City Council, Fort McCoy Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell and Deputy for Mobilization Col. Bas Oskam honor Fort McCoy’s founder, Maj. Gen. Robert Bruce McCoy, on the anniversary of his birth date at Sparta’s Woodlawn Cemetery. (Photo by Linda Fournier)
The Robert Bruce McCoy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Color Guard (left) and Gary L. Peterson, president of the Sparta City Council, Fort McCoy Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell and Deputy for Mobilization Col. Bas Oskam honor Fort McCoy’s founder, Maj. Gen. Robert Bruce McCoy, on the anniversary of his birth date at Sparta’s Woodlawn Cemetery. (Photo by Linda Fournier)

The June 8, 1909 establishment of the military installation that bears his name was one of the many great achievements attributed to McCoy.

“All of us can take pride in this tremendous accomplishment. The mission of Fort McCoy today — the training and mobilization of our Armed Forces — is exactly the mission that Major General McCoy envisioned for the post more than 100 years ago,” Fournier said. “Throughout those ensuing years, Fort McCoy has impacted positively not only Sparta but the entire West Central Wisconsin region as well. The installation’s growth and its success have and will continue to have a direct benefit to this community and its citizens.”

“From the perspective of his military service record alone, Major General McCoy was an American hero,” he said. “But to mention only his military service and his work to establish Fort McCoy would just be telling one half of this man’s remarkable life story.”

McCoy was devoted to public service and to improving the quality of life for those whom he served. The impact that he had on Sparta was significant.

McCoy’s involvement in his community was varied and included the roles of attorney, publisher, district attorney, judge and mayor. McCoy’s work continues to be felt 142 years after his birth.

“His body of work is something that the citizens of Sparta still can take great pride in and draw inspiration from,” Fournier said. “Robert Bruce McCoy’s life was characterized by selfless service to others far above any personal desire for riches or gain. He truly was a devoted and successful public servant in every respect. We honor that service as well.”

“Sparta truly was blessed to have such an outstanding native son,” Fournier said, adding that it was fitting to gather to pay respect to McCoy and draw inspiration from his dedication.

“Public service, whether to our nation through service in the armed forces or in some other capacity within our communities is a good and just cause,” he said. “Thank you Robert Bruce McCoy for setting an example of public service we all can be proud of. And thank you Robert Bruce McCoy for your service to our nation and to this community of Sparta, Wisconsin.”

 

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