It however is a shame that it involves the same concept about the Rule of Law that is currently making eyes and ears glued to the TV sets, the radio and newspaper and the net 24/7 all across North America. Perhaps much of the rest of the world as well!.
All to "Make America Great Again." Hmmmmm!
The incredible buffoonery and foot-dragging in DC suggests the hard lessons are yet to be learned by many. Similar lesson plans were also available back in 1917 but also seem locked up in some vault waiting to this very day to be bust open.
And the main stream media, a force that is supposed to be comforting the inflicted and inflicting the comfortable, has yet to do the busting and get on with the inflicting.
A decade ago John J Pullen wrote a book called..."A Shower of Stars." It told of the 27th Maine, who's medals were forwarded when most were sent in error. It added that the commander tried to return them and got rebuffed so he hid most in his barn. Upon his death kids found a handful and were playing with them in the streets...and thus... a Shower... of stars.
Those stars were Medals of Honor. A handful of them had the names of Canadians inscribed on their backs.
Looking to the right of this blog you will see that at the bottom of a long list, blogs in this space started over 4 years ago. Within the first 2 dozen blogs you will find considerable evidence that the purge of Medals of Honor conducted in Feb of 1917 was illegal. The issue has been noted numerous times over the past almost 400 blogs.
Not one has been challenged by anyone of authority to this date.
I won't be elaborating on it today.
But from that purge also several dozen other than the men of the 27th Maine fell victim to this unlawful action. And today's blog is about one of these men.
His name was John Hanna, and you have probably never heard of him before. And you should be upset about this. You have heard of Sgt York, and Audie Murphy and Teddy Roosevelt and Charles Lindbergh. They all were awarded medals of Honor. So was Hanna. But no one told you that.
If you go to the thousands of hits on the net about the Medal of Honor after posing the question .. How many Medals of Honor were awarded, most will tell you about 3500 or a little more.
EVERY ONE OF THEM IS WRONG!
To these numbers can be added at least 900 that were purged in 1917. Being purged, legal or otherwise does not mean they were never awarded. This is not Rocket Science. But the vast majority of sites do not tell you this. Many of those that talk about the purge have done little in the way of in-depth research on the topic and get the story quite wrong. Often with flippant comments.
And thus, stories like John Hanna's have been buried along with the very recipients for a century or more. They and their descendants have been robbed of their proper place in the history of the US Military, and of America itself, and Canada... and perhaps 30 or more other countries.
I had never heard of John until a researcher in eastern Canada found my website and wrote asking for help finding where John died and rests in peace today. I in turn reached out to another great researcher and supporter of my work, and I think the mystery has been solved after some give and take experience between the cemetery, some other researchers and myself. More on that in a follow-up blog.
His hometown is known, and will be revealed soon. More is needed on his pre military life, and after and is being pursued.
His days in uniform where not unlike thousands of others. He joined the infantry rather late in life, for those days, at a whopping age of 25. He'd rise through the ranks from Pte to First Sergeant, would serve on many battlefields and get a serious gunshot wound to the left wrist/arm/or hand that would see him in and out of hospitals several times and ultimately having to leave the front lines to join a veterans' battalion.
How little would he know that when he donned that uniform, destiny would see him travel well over a thousand miles as a Lincoln Guard a few years later. He would join the ranks with several Canadians who would some day have a chance to share with friends and families, their own stories of contact with Abe.
Past blogs in this space have told you of General Caldwell who would be called upon to be an escort when the President was assassinated in early 1865. He is buried in New Brunswick. Others have told of Canadian General Farnsworth, a colleague and personal friend of Abe's who actually nominated Lincoln for office and representing the very party he helped to start many a year ago.
Still others told of James Allen who would help to build the famous Lincoln touring car, a railway boxcar but somewhat more elaborate. Yet others told of the Torontonian Edward Doherty who as a cavalry officer would lead the detail sent off to capture John Wilkes Booth who pulled his derringer out at the 10th street establishment now famously known as Ford's Theater... and then shot Abraham Lincoln just after 10 pm on April 14th 1865. (Some Good Friday that was.) He would pass away the next morning as a handful of authorities and friends, including a Canadian were gathered at the side of his death bed.
Little did I know it, when including this picture several times in past blogs, but of the 25 First Sergeant's that were specially handpicked to be personal funeral honor guards to the President's remains, one of these would be our man John Hanna. He could very well be one of the three shown above.
The government insisted that to avoid any mishaps along the route, the train could not go over 20 miles per hour. They even had another train run ahead of it to ensure safety as it followed, and even seized all railway line from all other traffic en-route.
On 9 May 1865 the new President awarded the 4 officers of the guard and the 25 First Sergeants a Medal of Honor for their services to the country. Requirements for the awarding the medal were met but some 50 or more years later, with the creation of NEW REQUIREMENTS, all of these medals, mostly posthumously, were virtually removed from the history books of the United States with the 1917 purge.
On Sunday I will bring more on this story.