But until a few answers come in, I cannot bring that series of blogs to a close. I will however move on to others until my inbound emails bring the gems sought.
Back in early March Riverside National Medal of Honor Memorial, located at the Riverside California cemetery held an early celebration of the national Medal of Honor Day, usually celebrated on March 25th across the country.
The lower picture, without the folks shown should be familiar to regular visitors to these blogs as it has appeared often. I have had the incredible honour of visiting the Riverside site several times. It is gorgeous and forces you to stop and do some real reflection several times as you view the many attractions, the kiosk that gives details of the more than 3,000 medal recipients, the Missing in Action and POW memorial..a national historic site in itself, and much more.
But the real treasure is in the etched names on the black granite walls of each recipient, less of course the purge men of 1916. These engraved names are shown to the left of the unknown gentleman in the lower picture. Beside him are four woman representing The Gold Star Wives of America, who's members are widows who have lost a spouse in active service to the nation. The Gold Star Mothers... another group mentioned in past blogs has an interesting Canadian connection, available to those who use the search engine at upper right of this page.
The above image shows the pink granite doorway, if you will, to enter the memorial listing all of the MOH men and one woman. Though dark, you can see the images of blocks, each containing names of hundreds of recipients. Of the 39 blocks I believe I counted 31 containing names of Canadian recipients, or with connections to Canada.
In the above picture, to the right of the title block you can see 3 blocks of names if you look very hard. Below these is a small reflective pool of water. When first there, the sun was so bright that I was blinded as I entered the area and marched RIGHT INTO the pool, with several folks rushing to help me out of my predicament. Wish I wasn't wearing my well labelled CANADA hat that day!
Surrounding the memorial is the actual massive cemetery. It is here that there are five Medal of Honor recipients at rest. There five names have now also been affixed to the Memorial's title block and you can clearly see the name of one of these...Lewis Millett to the right of one of the Gold Star women shown above.
Millett's story of heroism and indeed his entire military career is fascinating and, whist an American, served for a time if the Canadian forces. His story is often mentioned in past blogs and, again, is found by using the search engine.
Another was in his pride at being the only Colonel that got the Medal of Honor and was a deserter. Yet another was that he loved his Canadian war medals though not allowed to wear them on his US uniforms. So he had then mounted them with velcro UNDERNEATH his other medals and would show them to friends when no one else was around.
It should also be mentioned that he lost a son in service, another served honourably and in later life, as a sculpturist is the very creator of the MIA/POW national memorial at Riverside and probably viewed by millions annually.
To the left you can see the change in development of the army MOH ribbon from Civil War days , to a change in 1896 and the next in 1904.
Back in the Fall of 1990 President HW Bush signed Congressional documents that would, effective 25 March 1991, create what we now know of as Medal of Honor Day in the United States.
It was created to counter the public lack of knowledge of the Medal of Honor, its importance and the heroism of those wearing the medal.
On 25 March 1863 six survivors of a daring caper that went wrong, escaped and made it to Washington. They were sent off on a 200 mile journey into enemy territory. They'd then have to capture a train and travel between Atlanta Georgia and Chattanooga Tn and enroute, destroy some of the major bridges, rail line and telegraph lines.
The venture failed, many were caught and hung, the rest tortured and jailed under terrible conditions and six eventually escaped and made way to DC to tell of their story to the President and others. That day was 25 March, and thus President Bush choosing it as the day for the national holiday and day to give thoughts to the medal and its thousands of recipients.
The results of my interview with a relative of Jacob Parrott should show up in a site search.
Parrott being the youngest was voted by the other five to go first when all were presented medals on March 25 1863. His being the first is often quoted, but may not necessarily be correct. He was the first to be PRESENTED with the medal but others would later be awarded for actions before the train caper took place .
Here is the cover of a book from early days and perhaps one of the first ever issued actually listing all of the Medals of Honor the author found to date of publication. And one ought to assume as a Brig. General and Adjutant General of the US Army at the time, he would have access to some good information.
It is a good speech and notes throughout about our duty to keep the stories of these brave men alive each and every day of our lives. These blogs are just one of the ways I try to do just that.
Finally, my last thoughts today are on the cases of Montreal born Louis Chaput and St Johns Newfoundland born Thomas Kersey. Both are MOH men whose stories have appeared in this space in the past.
Both will also be the recipients, of new MOH grave markers in the weeks to come, and as news is obtained, it will be passed along in this space.
Hope to see you next Sunday. Bring along a friend.