Sunday, March 26, 2017

Driven by Love, Medal of Honor Day

On Medal of Honor Day, a nation's military heroes honor courageous civilians
STARS AND STRIPES
By MICHAEL S. DARNELL
Published: March 25, 2017
"And that's the bottom line behind all the actions on the battlefield – the mortal battlefield of combat and the other battlefields of life – [that] in my mind, in my heart, were driven by love."
Mike Fitzmaurice, left, and Will Swenson, center, both Medal of Honor recipients, lay a wreath with the help of a soldier with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment "The Old Guard"at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
MICHAEL S. DARNELL/STARS AND STRIPES
ARLINGTON, Va. – Always a select group, the number of living recipients of the nation’s highest military award for valor continues to dwindle. Many of the 75 living Medal of Honor recipients are Vietnam War veterans in their 70s and 80s. Traveling for them isn't as easy as it used to be, so it's a special event, indeed, that can bring so many of them together.

More than 20 of those honorees gathered Saturday in the shadow of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, where they watched two of their number — Mike Fitzmaurice and Will Swenson — lay a wreath at the base of that famous monument to soldierly sacrifice. They did so in commemoration of National Medal of Honor Day, a day set aside to celebrate heroism.

But to hear them tell it, the men gathered not to be honored, but to instead to pay their respects to men long since passed.
"Service has never been about camouflage and guns, it's been about giving of yourself to others selflessly," said Salvatore Giunta
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