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September 6, 2014 at 12:13pm

7th Infantry Division names new headquarters in honor of Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison during ceremony

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison gives a speech at the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Inf. Div.'s new headquarters named in his honor. Harrison is known not only for his military exploits, but his role in the community. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

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Friday marked the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Harrison Hall is named after retired Lt. Gen. William Harrison. Harrison is well known in both the military and local communities. After leaving the service he became an influential community leader and politician, being elected the first mayor of Lakewood after its incorporation.

"We honor his contributions not only for the military but for the community," said Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, the commander of the 7th Infantry Division as he addressed the audience.

Harrison was born in Pembroke, Kentucky on July 2 1933. He joined the Army in 1954 and was a career officer. His career took him around the world. He served in West Germany, Iran and Vietnam. While in Korea he led two companies of the 7th Infantry Division, and would later be the divisions' commanding general. In the U.S. he served in several staff positions at installations around the country, including I Corps at Fort Lewis. He retired from the Army in 1991.

>>> Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, speaks during the dedication of the Division's new headquarters, Harrison Hall. Harrison Hall is named for Lt. Gen. (ret) William Harrison, who was the ceremony's guest of honor. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After leaving the military, he had several posts in government and the private sector, serving as an advisor to the governor of California. He eventually co-chaired the Lakewood incorporation effort and was elected to the city's first city council in September 1995. He was elected the city's first mayor one month later.

Since then, he's been an instructor at Pierce College and currently sits on the Pierce College Foundation board. He also serves on the boards of the Lakewood YMCA, USO Puget Sound Area, the Pierce County Mental Health Oversight Board and countless other organizations.

>>> Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general of I Corps, speaks at the dedication of the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general of I Corps, thanked him for his service and ongoing support of the military, mentioning to the audience that Harrison has attended nearly every ceremony they've had.

When it was his turn to speak, Harrison was helped to the podium by his son, Lanza and Ferrell. The old soldier spoke softly into the microphone as he reflected on his service in uniform, and beyond. He specifically addressed those soldiers who were preparing to leave the service. "There truly is life after the Army," he told the crowd.

>>> Canadian Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne shakes hands with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison after the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters named in his honor. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After the ceremony, attendees came up to shake hands and chat with Harrison. One of them was Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne, the Canadian army officer serving as the deputy commander of I Corps.

"It's an honor to be part of this team," he told The Ranger after chatting with Harrison.

Turenne said Harrison's career and his contributions to the military and his community sets an example to soldiers everywhere. "You want to emulate a guy like Lt. Gen. Harrison," Turenne said.

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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