Connect with us


Last WWII Medal of Honor recipient to lie in honor at Capitol

Williams, who died on Wednesday at 98, was a legend in his native West Virginia for his heroics underneath hearth over a number of essential hours at the battle for Iwo Jima. As a younger Marine corporal, Williams went forward of his unit in February 1945 and eradicated a sequence of Japanese machine gun positions. Facing small-arms hearth, Williams fought for 4 hours, repeatedly returning to put together demolition prices and acquire flamethrowers.

Later that 12 months, the 22-year-old Williams obtained the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for navy valor.

In remarks at a memorial Sunday in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin mentioned Williams “never quit giving back.” That included elevating cash for gold star households — quick members of the family of fallen service members — with an annual bike trip.

“It’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Manchin mentioned. He joked that “it’s not going to be stopping, because Woody would come after me in a heartbeat.”

Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, mentioned he’ll miss Williams’ telephone calls, noting how Williams would at all times give him instructions and to-do lists.

“I’ll miss him telling me how I’m supposed to vote. And when I didn’t, how I made a mistake,” Manchin mentioned.

Gen. David H. Berger, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, mentioned at the memorial that Williams at all times took exception to the notion that he completed that feat alone. He at all times acknowledged the opposite males on his staff, some of whom by no means returned dwelling.

“Woody may be the most genuine person I ever met,” Berger mentioned, noting his distinctive mixture of humility and humor. “He could make you laugh. He could make you care. That was his gift.”

Williams remained in the Marines after the warfare, serving a complete of 20 years, earlier than working for the Veterans Administration for 33 years as a veterans service consultant. In 2018, the Huntington VA medical heart was renamed in his honor, and the Navy commissioned a cellular base sea vessel in his title in 2020.

“He left an indelible mark on our Marine Corps,” Berger mentioned. “As long as there are Marines, his legacy will live on.”

Manchin introduced throughout his remarks that Williams would lie in state at the Rotunda, however Pelosi and Schumer mentioned he would lie in honor. The distinction, in accordance to the Architect of the Capitol, which oversees the constructing, is that authorities officers and navy officers lie in state whereas non-public residents lie in honor.

There had been 472 Medal of Honor winners throughout World War II among the many hundreds of thousands of Americans who served in uniform throughout that warfare, in addition to the Unknown Soldier buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

Among the very best identified had been Gen. Douglas MacArthur; aviators Pappy Boyington and Jimmy Doolittle; Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of the previous president; Army 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy, who turned a Hollywood star; and Army 2nd Lt. Daniel Inouye, who went on to serve from 1963 to 2012 in the U.S. Senate.

Source link