October 7, 2015

Alonzo H Cushing – Medal of Honor Recipient Joins Our John Whitmore In Civil War MOH History

Today, the Medal of Honor was bestowed upon First Lt. Alonzo H Cushing by President Barack Obama for his conspicuous bravery during the battle of Gettysburg. See story at CMH News and Features.

I hope our Wilkerson family will take renewed pride in the fact that their ancestor John Whitmore was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Civil War. What makes John Whitmore’s Medal of Honor recognition so remarkable is that he was not an officer, but a lowly Private. It’s important because his courage and bravery must have been substantial in order for him to be recognized by his higher command. This is not meant to take anything away from Cushing’s heroism, but remind everyone that there were others who received the Medal of Honor as well.

iPentimento Memorial Day Remembrance 2008

Graveyard Rabbit Carnival – The Whittemores of Pleasant Grove Iowa

Tombstone Tuesday: The Wilkersons of Pleasant Grove, Iowa



An Honorable Way To Fight Back Against Racism

I lived through the 60’s when race riots were in full swing. I truly thought we were making racism more and more of an anathema, but as we have all seen in the news racism has come back with a fury since President Obama was elected. As an American, I am proud to see there is a small righting of wrongs that will be done to honor the service of 24 men who were denied the Medal of Honor because of the color of their skin. As you probably know, no one “wins”  a Medal of Honor, but it is also not just wearing of a medal.  Consider these other benefits:

  • Special Medal of Honor pension of $1,194 per month above and beyond any military pensions or other benefits for which they may be eligible. The MOH pension is subject to cost-of-living increases.
  • Special entitlements to Space A air transportation.
  • Enlisted recipients are entitled to a supplemental uniform allowance.
  • Commissary and exchange privileges (includes eligible dependents).
  • Admission to the United States military academies for qualified children of recipients — without nomination and quota requirements.
  • 10 percent increase in retired pay.
  • Medal of Honor Flag.
  • Allowed to wear the uniform at anytime as long as the standard restrictions are observed.
  • Many states offer Medal of Honor automobile license plates.
  • Interment at Arlington National Cemetery if not otherwise eligible.

Which brings me to the “What Was Taken” part of the title of this article. Decades have passed since the end of the Vietnam War. The men who are deceased and were awarded posthumously the medal will have the honor attached to their names, but it is their families, and those of the few still living that I think of now with some sorrow for what was taken away from them. First in my mind is the missed educational opportunities the children of these men were denied. What great mind did we fail to enrich? Did any of the families falter financially when the extra money from the award might have meant better health, or a longer life? So many “what if’s” to be sure.

Twenty Four Heroes

One last thought, this award of the Medal of Honor cannot be seen as anything more than honoring the gallantry of individuals who didn’t think of the color of their skin when they fought and gave their lives. We need to focus on the kind of men they are and were: HEROES

Thank you gentlemen.

Medal of Honor: Congress Only APPROVED It

Graveyard Rabbit Carnival – The Whittemores of Pleasant Grove Iowa

Graveyard Rabbit Carnival – The Whittemores of Pleasant Grove Iowa

Mary E. and John Whitmore.

This is an early photograph taken around 1995 in the churchyard at Pleasant Grove, Iowa. The headstones are for John Whitmore (Whittemore, etc.) and his wife Mary Elizabeth DeSpain. The churchyard is at the Shinar Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Des Moines County, Iowa.

I’m participating in the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival hosted by The Graveyard Rabbit. Won’t you join us as we scamper through the graveyards?

Whitmore – Miller in Macon County, IL History

With Thanks To All Veterans



As I noted right before, and on election day, I am eternally grateful to the veterans and *civilians who made it possible to vote in my country.  I am grateful to all of them, past, present and future.

The Wilkerson Family Veterans

Top right is John Whittmore, Medal of Honor Recipient Civil War


The Yates Family Veterans

Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets

Medal of Honor: Congress Only APPROVED It

Remembering Bremerton During World War II

Placed by Jonathan Hunt Chapter DAR

* The civilian I refer to in our family would be Elizabeth Pledge Poindexter, my 5th Great-Grandmother and wife of Capt. Thomas Poindexter.  They are buried at Poindexter (Yadkin River, Bailie Bottoms) Yadkin County, NC. Photo is from FindAGrave.

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