Well done bureaucrats and politicians and the men and women who continued that battle for 60 years for this recognition. Unfortunately 60% of those who went off to fight in that war have long since passed away and will never know that their services have been finally recognized.
That aside, the government has also created a certificate of recognition for those who had served. Recent news clips tell us that if we or someone we know who served wants one of these attractive and frameable items, we can apply to get one. If this applies to you... go to... www.vetreans.gc.ca/Korea or call 1 (866) 522-2122 to get further details.
About 150 blogs ago I told you the story of Colonel Lewis Millett who went AWOL from US forces, joined the Canadian Army and went off to war. He later switched back to the US services and still later earned quit a few medals including the DSO and the Medal of Honor. Later he also went off to fight in the Korean War. But it appears that since then in US uniform, he would not be entitled to this keepsake. Millett has received several mentions in past blogs but the full blog is at http://www.canadianmedalofhonor.com/1/post/2012/12/of-the-40-million-or-more-that-have-served-in-us-uniform-only-one-apparently-went-from-the-rank-of-private-to-colonel-got-court-marshalled-along-the-way-served-in-military-services-of-three-different-countries-fought-in-three-wars-and-was-awarded-a.html
In late November of 2009 Colonel Millett passed away and was buried in early December at the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside California, located of the same grounds as one of 5 national Medal of Honor Memorials. This national treasure is a must see and has also been noted in past blogs. I was invited to the service by his family and had the incredible honour to attend one of the most impressive services, sad that it was, that I have every attended in my entire life.
I had often seen the folding of the national flag on TV but at this service and one a few days earlier, for yet another MOH recipient, I would see them being performed live. And this I shall not soon forget. If you have never seen this before, click here for a short clip...
There have been two recent announcements on the subject of flags and the military that I have wanted to share with you for some time. They have nothing to do with the National Flag Days celebrated both in Canada and the United States. Canada celebrates this day on 14 February as it was on that day back in 1965 that we got our current flag. In the US the event is celebrated on 14 June in commemoration of its first flag back in 1777.
The above image on the left shows over 3,000 people gathered in front of the Manitoba Legislature with coloured outfits that have been arranged to depict our flag. This was done on Canada Day, 1 July 2012. In January of this year Canada Post issued a stamp commemorating the event.
A second announcement was discovered while learning of yet a third. The third, was 2 years old by none-the-less it told of the US House of Representatives passing a resolution and named it in honour of former Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta. He was presented with a Medal of Honor at the White House back on 16 November 2010 for incredible heroism back in Afghanistan a few years earlier. His Medal was the first to be issue to a living recipient since the days of Vietnam. ( A fifth living recipient will be so awarded next month.)
The resolution called for the issue of a federal flag, if so requested by a MOH recipient or their family. The requirement including the provision that the flag was to have been one flown specifically in the recipient's honour, and over the capitol buildings. It was to be provided free of charge to the applicant. And it was to be issued with a certificate verifying that it was so flown and signed by not only the representative but also the serving Speaker of the House of Representatives. This of course would be yet another family keepsake and great heirloom for future relatives to proudly display in recognition of the family hero.
This is the Medal of Honor Flag. It was designed by Special Forces 1st Sergeant William Kendall of Iowa and first presented at Washington in 2006. The first recipient was the family of the late Paul R Smith who lost his life in battle and was awarded the MOH posthumously. His Medal and the above flag were presented to Smith's 11 year old son in a very moving ceremony at the White House. In September 2006 a special ceremony was conducted aboard the USS Constitution (which Canadians have served on) and at this ceremony over 60 of the live recipients were presented their own MOH flags.
In future media coverage of MOH presentations, you can now watch for the recipients also being presented with his or her MOH flag.