Monday, May 02, 2005

As Memorial Day Approaches: Consider The Congressional Medal of Honor

It's May once again, and Memorial Day will be here soon. Every Monday, concluding with Memorial Day itself, I'll post a Medal of Honor citation. Here is the first one:


Mr. Lang passed away on March 16, 2005

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. place and date: Kien Hoa province, Republic of Vietnam, 22 February 1969. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. Born: 20 April 1947, Flushing, N.Y . Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Lang, Company A, was serving as a squad leader when his unit, on a reconnaissance-in-force mission, encountered intense fire from a well fortified enemy bunker complex. Sp4c. Lang observed an emplacement from which heavy fire was coming. Unhesitatingly, he assaulted the position and destroyed it with hand grenades and rifle fire. Observing another emplacement approximately 15 meters to his front, Sp4c. Lang jumped across a canal, moved through heavy enemy fire to within a few feet of the position, and eliminated it, again using hand grenades and rifle fire. Nearby, he discovered a large cache of enemy ammunition. As he maneuvered his squad forward to secure the cache, they came under fire from yet a third bunker. Sp4c. Lang immediately reacted, assaulted this position, and destroyed it with the remainder of his grenades. After returning to the area of the arms cache, his squad again came under heavy enemy rocket and automatic weapons fire from 3 sides and suffered 6 casualties. Sp4c. Lang was 1 of those seriously wounded. Although immobilized and in great pain, he continued to direct his men until his evacuation was ordered over his protests. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness exhibited by this soldier over an extended period of time were an inspiration to his comrades and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.


The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Most people don't know this, but the citation for every Medal of Honor ever given is available at the site of the U.S. Army Center of Military History and of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Browse through them. You may find yourself spending an hour at a time as you read in awe of the unbelievable bravery displayed by so many Americans in so many places. If you're like me, no flag ceremony will ever be the same for you again.

UPDATE: Blogotional has, as usual, some fine thoughts and links on this subject.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so good to be reminded of individual instances of true heroism. Thanks for this feature. 

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 2:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful Lowell, thanks. 

Posted by Matthew Peek

Saturday, May 07, 2005 10:46:00 AM  

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