Common George S. Patton as soon as declared, “I’d give my immortal soul for that ornament.” Harry S. Truman, when awarding the medal, all the time stated, “I’d fairly have that medal than be President of the USA.” These males are referring to our nation’s highest navy honor. In response to the Uniform Code, “The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President within the identify of Congress to members of the navy service, who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity on the threat of his life above and past the decision of responsibility.”
The week of September 10, one thing extraordinary occurred in my piece of the south. The Medal of Honor Conference was held in Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s the second time lately the town has hosted these heroes of fight, and it was an honor every hour they have been right here. They celebrated and labored. They educated and spoke about heroism, duty, and patriotism. Gary Sinise (Lieutenant Dan from “Forest Gump”) was the Grasp of Ceremonies. Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, joined them. These males are particular individuals, and the Volunteer State handled them that means. Final week, roughly half of the sixty-five dwelling awardees made it to Knoxville’s conference. They and their households loved the camaraderie of one another, the love of East Tennesseans, journeys to the Smokies, and a present from The Blue Angels. Tennessee has been the house of thirty-two Medal of Honor recipients.
The e-book “The Medal of Honor: A Historical past of Service Above and Past” rightly states that each one wars are born in failure. The historical past of our nation’s highest award started with the beginning of the Civil Battle in 1861. Starting with South Carolina in 1860. the southern states seceded from the Union. By 1861 the Northern and Southern states have been getting ready to warfare. That risk grew to become a actuality in April 1861, when the Civil Battle started at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
It was to be the most expensive warfare within the nation’s historical past. 600 twenty-three thousand males died of harm or illness. Half one million extra have been injured. A bullet hit one in three. One in 5 died. Out of this tragedy, heroism arose on either side. The Union was able to honor its heroes with the newly launched Medal of Honor. Roughly 1,500 have been awarded to Union troopers for acts of heroism that pushed the boundaries of human habits. The south had its personal reward, A Roll of Honor, that was meant to honor its heroes equally. The collapse of the Confederacy saved that honor from turning into a actuality.
Evidently warfare and battle in our nice nation are inevitable. Heroism abounds in our armed forces and has been exhibited nearly continuously since humanity has existed. Following the Civil Battle, there have been wars with the Indians, wars associated to American Enlargement with Korea and China, Latin America, Cuba, and The Spanish American Battle. Troopers noticed battle within the Philippines and Samoa. Then in 1914 got here World Battle I, World Battle II, Korea, and Vietnam. Not too long ago, our troops have engaged in battle in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In all these conflicts, lifesaving acts of extraordinary heroism have been made. The tales are many; all self-sacrificing actions that went above and past the decision of responsibility.
As of this date, 3,515 individuals have been awarded The Medal of Honor. Solely sixty-five of that quantity reside. Greater than half of The Medal of Honor awards are post-humous, because the act of bravery that constitutes the dignity regularly ends in the individual’s sacrifice of their very own life. Solely 19 males in historical past have been awarded the Medal of Honor twice. Solely fourteen of these have been for 2 separate occasions. Probably the most well-known two-time recipients was Thomas Ward Custer, brother of famend basic George Custer.
In 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a constitution for the group representing the Medal of Honor, making it the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, increasing the mission of the awardees to one in every of service by sharing their tales and being a part of the bigger group of our nation, utilizing the award as a door to service and historical past. The awardees have embraced this mission and reside examples of one of the best of humanity.
There are three Medals of Honor. The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard are mixed, with the Military and Air Power every having their very own. The standards for being awarded The Medal of Honor are stiff. The individual nominated will need to have dedicated a conspicuous act of bravery, normally saving the life of 1 or a number of, by placing their very own lives in peril. It should be witnessed by others and documented by the officer in cost. There should be little doubt that the individual nominated carried out the act of gallantry. Typically there are various interviews of the eyewitnesses that comply with.
The nomination goes up the chain of command as a part of the submission for the dignity. Awards submitted by the navy should be finished inside two years of the act of bravery. Congress proposes these past two years. It will possibly take as much as eighteen months for the submission to go via the required channels, with every requiring proof of the act. The ultimate approval is with the Secretary of Protection and the President of the USA, who awards the medal in a particular White Home ceremony.
There are a number of perks that go together with the medal. Recipients obtain a small extra month-to-month pension, commissary privileges, and navy transport perks. The honoree is allowed to put on their uniform for his or her lifetime, their kids are allowed to attend navy academies with out quotas thought of, and they’re given a singular gravestone and eligibility for burial at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery. In return, a lot is anticipated of them. They’re thought of ambassadors for all they characterize, and plenty of work onerous for the remainder of their lives in that function.
The heroes characterize males and one girl (from the Civil Battle) who’ve acquired the dignity in all walks of life. Some are officers; many are enlisted males. They characterize each race and tradition inside our nation. The checklist of heroes consists of medics and corpsmen, and even conscientious objectors. These individuals are one of the best of all of us. You’ll discover them humble when talking of their very own acts of heroism, saying they characterize the entire navy, not themselves.
The lone feminine recipient was Mary Walker. She served as a physician for the Union Military and was appointed a Battle Division Surgeon, dwelling and serving in Tennessee. She was captured and held as a prisoner of warfare for round 4 months in 1864. After being launched in a prisoner swap, she returned to her duties. As a result of she was a civilian, her Medal of Honor was rescinded in 1917, together with over 1,900 others. She refused to return the medal. In 1977, President Carter reinstated her honors.
One of many tasks instituted lately is the Medal of Honor Character Growth Program for college kids in center college via highschool. By way of private tales of these awarded the medal, college students are given alternatives to be taught the ideas of braveness, dedication, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity, and citizenship and the way they will use these ideas and character traits of their every day lives. This system is heralded as one which makes a distinction within the lives of many college students. The lads awarded the Medal of Honor actively take part in on-line interactive research with the youth and seem in individual after they can. This 12 months’s convention attendees visited and spoke at a number of space faculties that use this system.
Among the extra well-known individuals who’ve been awarded the Medal of Honor have been: Charles Lindberg, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, a United States President; in addition to his son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Audie Murphy, who was one of the vital embellished troopers of World Battle II was additionally a film star and a recipient as was Alvin York, who is taken into account one of the vital embellished troopers of World Battle I. They’re solely a tiny pattern of those that dedicated unparallel gallantry, endangering their very own lives to learn others.
Many motion pictures have acknowledged the acts of the gallantry of many of those heroes. These embody Sgt. York, To Hell and Again, McArthur, The Final Full Measure, and others.
The US has a proud navy custom. The women and men who’ve been awarded The Medal of Honor characterize effectively one of the best of our nation. Within the phrases of Teddy Roosevelt, We should dare to be nice; and we should understand that greatness is the results of toil, sacrifice, and excessive braveness. The recipients of this nice honor dared to be nice. Of their greatness are humility and a love of nation and all humanity. They characterize our nation’s greatest, worthy of the dignity they earned.
The Charles H. Coolidge Nationwide Medal of Honor Heritage Heart is positioned in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Historian Brad Quinlin volunteers and fundraises for the Heart and has organized for the mortgage or donation of artifacts for a number of of the shows paying tribute to the recipients. Brad has a singular connection to the Medal of Honor. In WWII, Brad’s father was saved by Medal of Honor awardee William Shockley. The proceeds from Brad’s final three co-authored historic books (of the twenty-three he’s authored or co-authored) went to fund the middle. He shares with us that the middle options sixteen everlasting and altering displays spotlighting totally different Medal of Honor recipients, together with immersive shows that take friends again to the circumstances the place the award recipient carried out their heroics. You’ll additionally see a complete assortment of artifacts from the Medal awardees. Gadgets on show vary from canteens, canine tags, and uniforms to the precise Medals of Honor. One in every of excessive curiosity is the Medal of Honor of Non-public First Class Desmond Doss. Doss’s story was portrayed within the movie Hacksaw Ridge. You’ll additionally see a show of the good Tennessean Alvin York and feminine recipient Mary Walker.
One Memorial Day, well-known Common George S. Patton stated, “It’s silly and fallacious to mourn the lads who died. Slightly we should always thank God such males lived.” That assertion actually utilized to these awarded the Medal of Honor.
Different museums honor and showcase the actions of the awardees of The Medal of Honor.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum is on The USS Yorktown in Mr. Nice, South Carolina.
The Nationwide Medal of Honor Museum is slated to open in Arlington, Texas, in 2024.
All have (or will embody on opening) artifacts from the recipients, showcase the actions of gallantry and are memorials to the USA navy and the acts of bravery dedicated by its soldier in instances of battle. All are devoted to educating the citizenry about The Medal of Honor and exist to honor those that bravely serve and sacrifice in our navy.