President Obama to honor 24 war heroes with Medal of Honor

By Daniel S Levine,

In an effort to make sure that war veterans are rightly honored for their service, President Barack Obama will be holding the largest single Medal of Honor ceremony since World War II. The president will honor 24 war heroes in a single ceremony at the White House. Many had been previously passed over due to prejudice.

The ceremony is set for March 18 at the White House East Room and many of the recipients are of Hispanic, African-American or Jewish descent. They had already received the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest honor for veterans, notes The Associated Press. Only three of the 24 are still alive.

According to The Washington Post, the ceremony comes after the Pentagon did a 12-year review of its records to find veterans who were not awarded due to prejudice. The recipients served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. It’s set to be the largest single Medal of Honor ceremony since the end of World War II.

“I never really did worry about decorations,” Melvin Morris of Cocoa, Fla. told the AP. He is one of the three still alive and will be recognized for his service in South Vietnam in September 1969. Morris, who is black, said that the Army first contacted him about the award and got him in touch with Obama. He was completely surprised.

“President Obama said he was sorry this didn't happen before,” Morris said. “He said this should have been done 44 years ago.”

The two remaining living honorees both served in Vietnam. They are Spc. 4 Santiago J. Erevia of San Antonio and Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela of San Antonio.

You can check out the full list of honorees at the Pentagon website.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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