Charlie gave his left while Ed gave his right.
Many gave more than one limb. Tens of thousands gave their lives. And next month we will remember them for one day. Then the men and women and their families who paid the price for us to sit back in comfort, will be forgotten again by most till another year rolls by.
The stories of Charles and Edward have been often mentioned in this space in the past, but there is some interesting news about them that needs to be shared. Those not having read about them should use the search engine in upper right of this blog to look for their past mentions.
I will begin with Charles MacGillivary who was born and educated at Chalottetown Prince Edward Island. Previous to the US entry into WW11, Charles was working as a merchant mariner, but chose to head off to the Boston area and stayed with his elder brother. He then took a fancy to the world of the military and signed up and whilst in boot camp for the army he and a few others were offered and accepted the chance to take out US citizenship.
It was not long before Charles and a few others... lots of them, landed on a beach named after a carpenter that came from a place called Nebraska.. and a city called OMAHA. You've heard of it.
Fighting through France he would lead by example during the Battle of the Bulge, where he would take out numerous enemy machine gun posts and lose his left arm in the process.
I often wondered where this image came from. Just a few weeks ago I found the very source... an actual video of the event. I encourage you to watch it. Here is the link. Turn on your speakers...
Sgt MacGillivary is the first hero to be presented in the video.
Many years later, in 1999 Charles appeared before a subcommittee on immigration, part of the US Senate's Judiciary Committee. In his presentation he spoke of the 1945 presentation and said that... " I was very honored to have been included among so many distinguished recipients. I was also very proud that I, as an immigrant, had been selected to receive this award. I am happy to say that there are 714 other immigrants who have received the Medal of Honor."
Charles would add that he served as a President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. It is believed that he was one of only 2 immigrant recipients who served as president in the society's history. A society that he helped create.
He also noted in his speech that back in 1976 he presented a plaque listing 54 Medal recipients from Canada to then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, father of our current PM.
As noted in past blogs, the plaque only has 41 names on it, not 54, Many do not have hometowns listed, some heroes are missing and some are listed while not being Canadian. But much of this info was no doubt not available back in the mid 1970's. More curious is this plaque located beside the one above....
These two markers are said to be the first ever, to have been installed outside of the United States.The year was 1979 and a year later he would install two more in Nova Scotia. (Lee Nutting's and Charles Robinson's)
Charles spent many years serving as an advocate for the military families and was an active member of many military associations. There are many memorials of remembrance to the hero including a park, building and armoury and I do believe a road on a military base, and there is more to come next week.
Charles served as a special agent with the Treasury Department at Boston. With some irony, at one point his duties included the inspecting of Christmas trees coming in to the US from a place called Canada.
While there are no press releases that I can find yet, I have discovered through my friends in the MOH world that Charles will again be remembered, and this one, like so many others, will last a long time.
He is being honoured by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. With some 223 offices around the world, some 33 of those in the US have been named in honour of immigrant Medal of Honor men. None... till now has been named after a Canadian, even though next to Ireland's well over 200, I believe more came from Canada than any other country other than of course the US.
Ireland, Mexico and Germany have 4 facilities in this agency honouring them.
But on October 21st their building in Fort Myer Florida will have its name changed in honour of Sergeant Charles A MacGillivary, from PEI, Canada.
This blog is once again getting too long. So I hope next week to be able to bring you some photo's of the Fort Myers dedication, which I understand may have input from a few Canadian fronts as well. That blog will then finish with the story of Ed, that I had hoped to bring you today.
Till then, keep using my research tool at upper right,