21 Mar Medal of Honor presented to Veterans
President Obama recently presented the Medal of Honor to 24 Veterans, giving them the honor and respect they have earned through their years of service to this country.
Big Statues, with Matt Glenn as the lead artist, was privileged to create a bronze statue in loving memory of a past Medal of Honor recipient, George O-Brien. The eight-foot bronze sculpture portrays O-Brien as a brave soldier in combat gear, running across the dangerous terrain. The sculpture is located outside the Veteran’s hospital in Big Spring, Texas.
“We were honored to have the opportunity to remember and honor a noble Veteran. This statue not only represents O-Brien, but all others who receive the Medal of Honor,” said Glenn of the statue.
Tuesday, March 18, 24 U.S. soldiers received the Medal of Honor. These Veterans were mostly ethnic or minority citizens, who should have received this award long ago; they fought bravely in three of the nation’s wars.
These men were not awarded the Medal of Honor sooner because they may have been overlooked due to past prejudice towards their ethnicity. A review was recently held by the government to ensure that none were overlooked any longer. These men had been given other awards and medals for their service, but were found eligible for the upgraded honor.
Of the 24 recipients, only 3 are still living and were able to attend the ceremony for President Obama to “drape the medals and ribbons around their necks” (Kuhnhenn, Yahoo News).
“Today we have the chance to set the record straight,” Obama said. “No nation is perfect, but here in America we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal.”
The three men still alive today, Jose Rodela, Melvin Morris, and Satiago Erevia, all fought in the Vietnam War. After they received the medals and ribbons, these respected men were given a persistent applause and standing ovation. From the humble looks on their faces, they were grateful and gave acknowledgement of the honor.
Among the other recipients of the Medal of Honor was Leonard Kravitz, uncle of singer and actor Lenny Kravitz. He served as an assistant machine gunner in the Korean War and saved his platoon by offering protection for the other retreating troops. He died in the attack.
In the ceremony, Obama said: “The heroes we seek are right in front of us.” Medal of Honor recipients and all other Veterans are true heroes that deserve the highest level of respect.