This Article is About
medal of honor
hero of the soviet union
phonograph record
merchant marines
world war ii
fourth of july celebration
The Medal Of Honor
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The military gives awards for service and for valor. They give awards for simple participation. But the highest award for American Service people is the Congressional Medal of Honor. Other countries present similar awards. The Victoria Cross was and still is the highest award in British Commonwealth Countries and Countries of the former British Empire. Like Canada, countries may have a special version. The Canadian version is fairly new and has never been awarded. The Canadian award may be given for actions against a non-military force such as pirates.

The counterpart of the Medal of Honor in France is the National Order of the Legion of Honour (French: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur). The Soviet Union awarded The medal Hero of the Soviet Union.

In the United States, the various services has its own distinctive Medal of Honor, the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. For service in during World War II some Merchant Marines received the medal Merchant Marine Heroes: Citations for Distinguished Service Medal Awarded for "Heroism Beyond the Call of Duty."

When I was a boy in high school enrolled in the ROTC program, one of our two regular army instructors told us the story of Roger Young. In World War II. Roger Young received the Medal of Honor. At the end of the presentation, our instructor played a phonograph record with a song called the Ballad of Roger Young. I can still here that record in my mind. It is easy to find the lyrics with an Internet Search.

A few years ago I was asked to speak at a Fourth of July celebration before an early morning breakfast. I could have talked about the many brave men I served with in Korea but instead I talked about our Medal of Honor winners. Their valor is unsurpassed . Now we see the Medal being given to some of our troops who have been fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the song we notice that Rodger Young fought and died for the men he march among. I don’t know of any service person who would commit suicide for his or her country. But some Medal of Honor winners did exactly that for their friends. A common example is covering a grenade with ones body to protect buddies.

If a person dies while in the service, we say that he or she died for his or her country. Once any person dies in the service, he or she becomes part of that definition. That is the way it should be. Still, from my experience, dying for ones country was never in the mind of those who died. Staying alive or dying for a friend, was. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12 KJV New Testement, Bible)

We have Memorial Day to honor our war dead. But I had older friends that were killed in WW II and then there were the Korean War dead. And I have had to add the dead of those killed in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan plus a few other skirmishes. When I fly Old Glory in the front of my home, I think of them. I think of them often when I’m writing. I wonder what our country would be like if we had not killed off so many in the Civil and our other wars.

I was thinking the other night about what it would be like if the dead of WW II held hands like paper dolls. Being 80-years-old, I think I may have mentioned this in another article. But if we put the dead into two groups. One could circle the globe at the equador and the other could circle the globe through the poles. Think about it?

In Korea, before I was a platoon sergeant, I was a forward observer for 81mm mortars. As Chinese soldiers fell, I felt sorry for those at home in China who loved these men, how called them sweetheart, brother or friend. Who called them son or father. I fly the flag for them too. I hope you do also.

John

AAAFlagpoles


Street Talk

Wonderful article John...yes, our enemies have families too and most were just like us...following orders Appreciate the bible verse also...thanks

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Do you think it will ever end, Kevin? I'm sure that any alien spaceship would stir clear of this planet. John

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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