Alpine Summit

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

MOH Recipient Dies

The only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor was buried in Arlington recently. Regardless of your politics, you have to admire this man's heroism. One problem I had was this quote at the end of the article.

“He wanted to serve. He just didn’t want to kill anybody,” said a veteran who attended the service, Fred Headrick, 85. “Most all of them (Medal of Honor recipients) received their medal for killing someone. He received his by saving lives.”

What I take issue with is that it really isn't the case. I would say most (if not all) MOH citations are given to people who saved lives by taking others. The reward isn't because they killed more than others--they get it because they saved others at the risk of their own life. Two people who come to mind are Rear Admiral James B. Stockdale, and George M. Cohan.

Granted, most people who get the Medal of Honor killed people, but it isn't because they killed people that they got it. It's because they embodied the American concept of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage when nobody could or would blame them for saving themselves or retreating.

Remember these people the next time you see the spineless protester or the anarcho-communist waving his or her black flag during a march, living under the very freedoms they wish to deny.