To its right is one of the newer markers for Youngs, which clearly identifies the deceased as a medal recipient.
These types of markers saw their birth in the US bicentenial of 1976. A few years previous to this the U.S. President communicated with several groups and asked them to come up with a plan to better highlight the incredible bravery and accomplishments of the medal recipients who had passed away. From that request came the National Cemetery Sysytem's Medal of Honor Memorial Project.
Many meetings took place with representation of the National Cemetery System, the Veterans Administration's Advisory Committee on Cemetaries and Memorials, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the US Army's Institute of Heraldty.
One of the thoughts of this group was to have two types of markers: those that stood and those that lay flat. But to then have a disc of some form created that would represent all the military...ie the Navy, the Army the Airforce, Coast Guards and Marines.This disc would be fastened to the marker and have a circle of 13 stars around it.
But the then serving President of the Medal of Honor Society...Sgt Charles McGillivary strongly objected to any form of a disc that could be mounted..but just as easily removed by vandals. He further noted that no new device should be created and that an army recipient's marker ought to have INSCRIBED on the marker his army affiliation, likewise for the navy etc. Any engraving was also to be in gold lettering. The committee agreed, and it was approved by Admiral John McCain, Chair of the VA's Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials. (His son of the same name, a war hero and senator, recently ran for the Presidency of the US) A further note: McGillivary was himself a recipient having earned his medal in the Battle of the Bulge... was born in Canada and will be the subject of tomorrow's blog.
The decision was made to have the first ever new marker unveiled on Memorial Day in 1976. This was however later changed and to take place during National Armed Forces Week so as not to take away any of the attention rightly due to Memorial Day. The group considered where the event should take place and it was decided to use the cemetery that was nationally operated and that held at that time the most Medal of Honor recipients remains. Thus, it would..and did take place... on 11 May 1976 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific located at Honolulu Hawaii.
The cermony was conducted by many officials including the Secretary of the Navy, the State Governor and many officials including the late senator Danial K Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient, who just passed away just 12 days ago today.
Twenty three new style markers were unveiled that day, and every one of the deceased except one were killed in the actions that resulted in their receiving the Medal of Honor.
Over the years since, six of the seven recipients buried in Canada would receive one of these new markers, all flat ones like Nutting's above.
The remaining grave in Canada will soon be receiving a new marker, possibly the upright type.
This image, taken by Bob Haskell, shows Charles McGillivary in the centre and two Royal Canadian Legion members each holding one of the bronze markers that was installed in New Brunswick back in August of 1989.