In a move meant to right historical wrongs, President Obama awarded 24 Army veterans — most of them already deceased — the Medal of Honor on Tuesday.
President Obama: “No nation is perfect. But here in America we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past. … Some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal.” (Via CNN)
Obama said these veterans were wrongly denied an award they deserved simply because of their race or religion. The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor for bravery. (Via NBC)
The veterans were chosen after a 12-year Pentagon review into discrimination. The recipients include Hispanic, Jewish and African-American veterans and span the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II. (Via U.S. Army)
“Just three of the 24 veterans honored in today's ceremony are alive. Twenty-one of the medals are being awarded posthumously to the soldiers' families.” (Via MSNBC)
One of the surviving veterans, Former Master Sgt. Jose Rodela, sat down with CBS and explained what went through his mind when he heard the news.
"It's something that's very special for any American to receive. Wow, I can't even describe it."
The awarding of 24 of Medals of Honor at once makes this the largest such ceremony since World War II.