Today let's have a look at the situation along the eastern seaboard at Pennsylvania. That state is only 2nd to New York in the number of Medal of Honor men connected in one way or another to it. An incredible 1 in every 10 in the medal's history have a connection here. That means that the names of 379 of the country's bravest are currently honoured at its capital of Harrisburg. And they are running out of room for many more.
Earlier this month the legislature was yet in heated discussion about what to do about the matter. One wonders if the heat was turned up too high. And it comes from right under the very memorial being debated.
Outside of the Capital Complex there is a grassed area called the mall. Below this are tunnels, wiring and a massive geothermal complex that pulls the earth's heat and circulates it to many of the government buildings.
The mall itself was the very ground on which the Union soldiers gathered to march off in the parades that celebrated the end of the Civil War.
Today these grounds celebrate the 379 from that war and every other war who were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Running from the grove of trees on left, across the mall and to the trees on the right are bands of markers, the theme being that each is a wave. And all waves in theory are heading out towards the Peace Towers.
Each of these bands consists of engraved stones with the names of all recipients, their battle, place and date. The bands are also separated by stretches of grass left to right...each representing a time of peace.
Current thoughts are around cleaning out some of the growth around the trees and placing new markers in that area.
Newfoundland born sailor Hayes earned a MOH for actions in 1864 during the famous battle between the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg France. He has been much noted in blogs in this space.
In an earlier blog I told the story of the Roosevelt medal actually being right here in Victoria BC and sold off by a collector to another fellow in Ontario. That fellow went to jail after crossing the border and trying to sell it when he knew full well such actions were illegal. Perhaps he should not have sold it to an FBI man. Da!
Pierre Leon had also been mentioned several times in this space. He was a fellow sailor with Charles Robinson of Halifax and 2 others who earned medals for their roll in the Yazoo Expedition, and also for the taking of Forts Henry and Donelson very early in the Civil War. And George Mindil has been oft mentioned as a double recipient that few wish to give him credit for. He is one of the 21 that I often mention whilst the rest of the world insists there are only 19 double recipients. Bull, I say.
Number 3 is Coxswain John Hayes from Brogus Newfoundland. and #4 is Joachim Pease, who for the longest time was thought to be from the US, then Atlantic Canada, but since has been shown to have probably come from The Cape Verde Islands about 350 miles off the NW coast of Africa.
Back with more next week,