Sunday, April 08, 2007

"Medal of Honor" weekend

The Medal of Honar weekend, now in it's seventh year, grew out of a "community desire to recognize our nation's veterans by honoring these living national treasures by showing them our best, small town American patriotism," stated Don Pettigrew, president of Gainesville's non-profit, Medal of Honor Host City Program.
Recipients will speak to local schools and community gatherings, as well as the news media while in Gainesville. The focus is on relaxed, casual activities which are "child-friendly" in order to allow the Recipients' message of patriotism, community involvement, and personal success in life to reach the youth.
Other activities include a military-theme parade, a golf tournament, a vintage, military aircraft fly-in, and each year oak trees are planted along a walking trail and dedicated to each Medal of Honor Recipient who has visited the community.
"Currently, there are 111 living Recipients, averaging 74 years in age," Pettigrew said, "noting that approximately 40 Recipients have passed away since his program begain in 2001.
On February 26, President Bush presented the Medal of Honor to LTC Bruce Crandall, US Army Ret, for his heroism and live saving efforts more than 40 years ago in the battle of La Drang Valley. His repeated flights into the Vietnam War battle to save wounded soldiers were protrayed in the movie, "We Were Soldiers."

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