Recognition, at last, for a diminutive lady, courageous well beyond her height. A native of the Congo, Ms. Augusta Chiwy, served as a civilian- nurse in World War II Belgium, and is credited with saving the lives of a great many wounded American soldiers during December, 1944's brutal, death-dealing Battle of the Bulge. Volunteering in a small aid station, with only one doctor, in the Village of Bastogne, Ms. Chiwy repeatedly dodged German gunfire to help retrieve our wounded from the surrounding snow-covered, frozen fields, where our troops had fallen.
In a recent ceremony in Brussels, Ms. Chiwy was presented with the U.S. Civilian Humanitarian Service Medal, for her incredible valor, those many decades ago. Said she at the ceremony, as reported by AP: "What I did was very normal. I would have done it for anyone. We are all children of God." So very refreshing, these days, to hear her reassuring expression of both compassion and reverence.
Her award was so long in coming, because, with the German shelling and destruction of Bastogne, it was believed that she had perished there. Our military members, and those of our allies, were true heroes back in that global fight for freedom. And so were those who came to their aid in any way, too often at the cost of their lives. Ms. Augusta Chiwy, still spry and articulate, at the age of 93, is one-such symbol of heroic courage, for which the families she touched, and all of us, yet today, can be extremely thankful.