The next blog will bring you an update on the Canadian and British side of this story. Today I shall use this blog to bring forth some American materials for consideration.
I have mentioned the Congressional Medal of Honor Society many times in this space. It is the society to which most if not all the MOH recipients belong and participate in annual conventions and much more. From their site you can learn a lot about the history of the medals, the different types from days gone and current ribbons etc. Below is an entry from that site that acknowledges that in times past all soldiers sailors etc were not treated equally.
While it must be remembered that many were kept out of the front lines due to their being assigned labor roles rather than fighting roles for the most part, the numbers receiving the MOH amounted to about 5% of the totals for the period mentioned. And not being assigned to the front lines, in itself, was, arguably, also discriminatory.
Moving forward, during WWl and ll about 15 million Americans fought. Of these, some 1.3 million were African Americans. About 550 Medals of Honor were awarded for the two Great Wars. Not one went to a African American.
The along came Freddie!
Freddie was an African American Corporal leading at the head of a company trying to retake a heavily fortified hill from the Germans. About half his company would be killed in the fight. As his men proceeded the enemy faked a surrender and then by surprise killed 22 year old Freddie Stowers and many more of his comrades.
He was later recommended for the MOH but his case seems to have gotten lost somehow ???? It was discovered in 1987
Soon the nation's oldest Black College...Shaw... was invited to do research into the matter of discrimination regarding the issue or non issue of awarded to African Americans, This resulted in the identification that ten soldiers had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross rather that the Medal of Honor. The DSC is one medal BELOW the MOH.
Congress agreed with 7 of the cases, but in each of these all but one of the recipients was by then deceased.
On 2001 yet another review was conducted and Tibor Rubin, a Holocaust survivor was awarded his MOH. I had the incredible privilege to meet and briefly chat with this very gracious hero in 2013 at Gettysburg, Sadly he has since passed.
I shall be watching for news on this front and bring same to you as it is learned.
Canada and Britain should take a long look at how the US is trying to fix these many injustices and how they have worked around the rules that can be amended when common sense calls for such action.
My next blog on this comes on June 5th.
On the mean time here is a great song, that I have passed on in the past...please check it out... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaxGNQE5ZLA
I believe you will be glad you did!