March 25th is National Medal of Honor Day. During the Civil War almost one half (683) of the Medals of Honor were awarded for heroic action on the battlefields of Virginia. Virginian and World War II hero Jack Lucas received the Medal of Honor for heroic sacrifice at Iwo Jima just 5 days after his 17th birthday, making him the youngest hero in this century to receive the award. At the time of his valor Jack had already been in the Marines for 3 years. All told, 50 Virginians have been awarded the Medal of Honor since the Civil War, and there are 25 others who either moved to or enlisted in military service in another state to which their award is accredited. By virtue of their birth, they are still among our "Home Town Heroes."
Photo is of Desmond T. Doss (Lynchburg, VA). Private Doss didn't like to be called a "conscious objector". He did not object to the mission of Americans in World War II, his religious beliefs simply forbade him to kill. His personal beliefs cost him some ridicule and scorn until Okinawa where his belief in the sacredness of life caused him to go to extreme limits to save the lives of his comrades. His commanding officer said Doss saved 100 men...Doss said it couldn't possibly have been that many, maybe 50...so they compromised when they wrote his Medal of Honor citation and credited him with saving 75.