One even revealing that a 2nd Canadian recipient played a major role in the creation of a Medal of Honor Club in the very early 1900's and in a few years became its president. (Much has been said in this space about a WWll recipient who later became President of the MOH Society.) But the recent discovery tells me there was a 2nd having the same accomplishment of a sort. And another story has emerged telling of a Medal of Honor man who almost became a double recipient. But more on that also at a later date!
As I do this work I sometimes recall the old joke about the two hunters in the woods late at night. Suddenly they are awoken by the crackling of bushes, and more worrisome, the noise is getting closer and closer. Obviously a bear is getting too close for comfort. The older and wiser of the two quickly fastens the laces in his runners. The younger and somewhat less wise then asks his buddy if he thinks he can outrun the bear. He responds with... "its not the bear I have to outrun, It's you!"
Think about it folks.
A few weeks back I came across a story from Vancouver Canada. I loved it. Finally I saw someone else taking on the press and others. He had caught them repeatedly saying that the Victoria Cross men in the article were not winners, and that the medals were earned or awarded. I think he even said that the bravery award was made as a result of heroism, not a game.
Finally some headway was being made. I was escaping the bear. So I thought!
But then I came across the u tube video about the recent appointment of General Mattis as the new Secretary of Defense in the United States.
So far so good. It is the setting that viewers should give some thought to. They are at the Pentagon in one of the hallways. In fact a rather important one. It is called the Hall of Honor, as clearly depicted by the very large depictions of the three current versions of the Medal of Honor. At the left in upper picture is the army version. Next comes the Marine Corps, Navy and US Coast Guard medal and in lower picture we see the Air Force's medal.
All acknowledged the importance of the Hallway and that inscribed on its walls are the names of all the AMERICAN Medal of Honor men, some 3,500 strong. I and I suspect many others would have liked to have heard some rumblings by one of, if not all of these highest of officials, that one in five of those very names belongs to a hero that was born OUTSIDE of the United States. And while many of these servicemen later became citizens, many did not. I wonder if any of these three men even know this.
In describing the importance of this Hall, President Trump said that ... "this is a sacred hall, the sole of the nation lies between its walls." He went on to praise all the recipients and noted that the government and the people well respect what each did for his... or her... country. He also made reference to the efforts being made to keep terrorists out of the country.
But therein lies the concern of many! The only ones objecting to that ideal are probably the very ones you do not want entering the country. But it is all the rest that have been or could be caught up in the trap at the same time. Some of which I made mention of, not without notice, in my last blog.
But there is something else that leaves a bad impression on many. The perception I suspect that the President is picking important stages to rest on the laurels of heroes long gone, in support of his own agenda. An agenda that precludes entry to many who ought to be permitted entry with open arms.
Many saw this same sort of "staging" during the election. Back in late September I commented on the numerous announcements that some 14 Medal of Honor recipients were supporting the Trump campaign, a right they certainly had. However, in so claiming this support, most headlines noted failed to mention any of the names of the MOH men. Heroes who's services resulting in the awards were never given and as it appeared, had really nothing to do with the campaign other than to be a bragging point.
But you saw nothing in the same news coverage about the other 63 who had not claimed support for either candidate. It appeared that the press also failed to question that the rest of the MOH men had not come forth yet, or questioned why or who they supported. Should these other recipients not also been part of the full and fair story? Ballots are of course secret. However the stories could have at least told the uninformed that..hey...look..there are still another 63 we have not heard from yet.
Same thing for the Admirals and Generals. My previous blog noted that 88 had apparently indicated being a Trump supporter. But what most of the press stories... and of course the campaign forgot to tell you was that at the very time, across the US there were some 4,800 Admirals and Generals.
Now you can better see the picture. 88 out of 4,800. All of a sudden it is not very impressive at all. Maybe the majority were Trump supporters. Who knows? And they have a right of course to keep their ballots secret of course. But on the face of it, surely there was a problem in giving the public less than the whole story.
Before leaving this story, I would like to also note that it seems the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society, formed back in August 1958, might want to visit some of the issues raise above. Among its founding goals is one..."to protect, uphold and preserve the dignity and honor of the medal at all times and on all occasions." Another is "to protect the name of the medal and individual recipients of the Medal of Honor from exploitation." And another is to "foster and perpetuate Americanism."
While I have the utmost respect for this Society, one that has been most helpful to me in the past, I believe these issues ought to be on the table for discussions of the membership.
All of our Medal of Honor men, and one woman, past and present are worthy of our utmost respect. The above issues suggest their feathers are being ruffled.
I will sign off till next week because I think I hear some bears coming though the bushes.