Veterans

March 19, 2014

Obama presents long-overdue Medals of Honor to 24 soldiers

The three living recipients of the Medal of Honor among 24 Army veterans whose gallantry had finally been fully recognized stand during a ceremony at the White House, March 18, 2014. Left to right, they are Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris, Master Sgt. Jose Rodela and Sgt. Santiago J. Erevia. All three earned the nation’s highest award for battlefield gallantry during the Vietnam War. The 24 soldiers from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War originally received the Distinguished Service Cross, and a congressionally directed review resulted in their awards being upgraded.

Twenty-four U.S. Army veterans from three wars – World War II, Korea and Vietnam – received upgrades to the highest military decoration for uncommon bravery and gallantry at a White House ceremony May 18.

President Barack Obama presented posthumous Medals of Honor to family members and representatives of 21 of those soldiers, and draped the sky-blue ribbon and five-pointed star-bearing medals around the necks of the three living veterans from the Vietnam War.

Each of the 24 had received a Distinguished Service Cross for the same fearless actions for which they were now receiving long overdue upgrades to the Medal of Honor.

“This ceremony is 70 years in the making and today, we have the chance to set the record straight,” the president said, noting that more than a decade ago Congress mandated a review to ensure heroism of veterans wasn’t overlooked due to prejudice or discrimination. During that review, the 24 soldiers – Hispanic, Jewish and African-American – were identified as deserving of the Medal of Honor.

“This is the length to which America will go to make sure everyone who serves under our proud flag receives the thanks that they deserve,” Obama said. “So with each generation, we keep on striving to live up to our ideals of freedom and equality, and to recognize the dignity and patriotism of every person, no matter who they are, what they look like, or how they pray.”

Obama invited each living soldier to the stage, one at a time, dressed in uniforms they could have worn in their 20s, but they now were filling out in their 70s with a full complement of ribbons and badges that testified to their skills as young soldiers. Their citations were read, their Medals of Honor were draped, and handshakes were exchanged.

“These are extraordinary Americans. They are exemplary soldiers,” the president said.

Following the presentation to the three Vietnam veterans, Obama called them all to the stage.

“Santiago Erevia, Melvin Morris, Jose Rodela – in the thick of the fight, all those years ago, for your comrades and your country, you refused to yield,” he said. “On behalf of a grateful nation, we all want to thank you for inspiring us – then and now – with your strength, your will, and your heroic hearts.”

Sons, daughters, nephews, brothers, wives, friends and representatives of the 21 soldiers who didn’t live to receive the long-overdue recognition each were called to the stage to hear their soldier’s citation read aloud for a final time.

While some fought tears, others smiled, faintly remembering. Then each was presented with the framed citation and Medal of Honor their soldier had earned. There was little doubt their soldiers would never be forgotten again.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is very rare where we have the opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary courage and patriotism of such a remarkable collection of men,” Obama concluded. “We are so grateful to them, we are so grateful to their families, it makes us proud and it makes us inspired.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 20, 2015

News: Sale of U.S. arms fuels the wars of Arab states - As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. U.S. spending $1 billion to reassure European allies - From Army rotations...
 
 

News Briefs April 20, 2015

Last two Raiders give congressional medal to Ohio museum The last two ìDoolittle Tokyo Raidersî have presented their Congressional Gold Medal for permanent display at a museum in southwest Ohio. The medal arrived at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton in a ceremonial B-25 bomber flight. The medal was awarded by...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Space Solar Power Initiative established by Northrop Grumman, Caltech

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman’s Joseph Ensor (left) and Caltech’s Ares Rosakis (right) shake hands as part of the recent SSPI commemoration event held at the California Institute of Technology, Pasade...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton UAS conducts first flight with search radar

Navy photograph The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft takes off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., April 16, to conduct its first flight from the naval base. The aircraft began sensor testing on April 18 and flew with its...
 
 

UTC introduces active side-sticks to large commercial aviation

UTC Aerospace Systems is introducing the world’s first active side-stick controller for large commercial aircraft. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corp. UTC Aerospace Systems’ Actuation & Propeller business unit is supplying the active side-sticks for the cockpit of the new Irkut MC-21 single aisle aircraft. The MC-21 family of aircraft will...
 
 

Boeing presents flight test 787 Dreamliner to air, space museum

Boeing, elected and community leaders joined together April 17 to celebrate the permanent display of one of the original 787-8 Dreamliner flight test airplanes at the Pima Air & Space Museum. “Boeing has a strong presence in Arizona and is proud to share this important achievement in aviation history with the community, our employees and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>