July 26, 2014

Medal of Honor: Congress Only APPROVED It

There is a common misconception that the Medal of Honor is called the “Congressional” Medal of Honor, when in fact that word is not part of the name. While Congress did approve the medal to be bestowed on those who earned it, it is the branch of the service the member belongs to that carries out the bestowal.




I probably would not know any of those details (which is why I am writing this, in case you don’t either) but my husband’s Great Great Grandfather, John Whitmore was a Medal of Honor recipient during his service in the Civil War.

1862 Medal



Sadly, I have also found out (and I lament my ignorance about this) that Medals of Honor were awarded to men who took part in the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890). This was not a battle as such, but an actual massacre of defenseless men, women and children. The reported number of medals awarded varies between 18 to 23, but that any were given to these men at all is something that should be changed. There is a movement to rescind the medals, but the government has not seen fit to do so. Of course, they haven’t seen fit to fully fund the treaties that they have with all the sovereign Indian nations either…Also, did you know that the Army continues to parade the Wounded Knee “Battle” Streamer? This is an affront to all Native Americans who have served in our military and should be removed.



So proudly the Army displays its flag with over 170 battle steamers at the Pentagon,White House, West Point Military Academy, museums and Army posts throughout the world. The Pine Ridge battle streamer has the highest number of Congressional Medals of Honor (20) of all the steamers including Normandy, Battle of the Budge, and Iwo Jima. According to the Army, the Secretary of Defense authorizes which battle streamers will hang from the flag. The Secretary could have the streamer removed if it was not connected to the 20 Congressional Medals of Honor. For this reason, the permanent removal of this offending streamer would take congressional and presidential action.

Just when you think you understand history, it comes up and bites you, doesn’t it? For years, I have been trying to set the record straight about the actual name of the Medal of Honor as a form of respect for all of those who actually earned it honorably.

If you think it would be right to do so, please think about signing the petition to rescind the medals. Over 2000 have signed to date. Rescind the Wounded Knee Medals of Honor Petition

Sorry, the link I provided was spam and so I have removed it. Thanks for alerting me to that Roy. I should have checked it more thoroughly.

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