Editorial Salute - 9/26/13

Five-years after a deadly-battle in Afghanistan, former Army Captain William Swenson, serving then with the 10th Mountain Division, will, belatedly, be awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry."   Swenson fought alongside former-Marine, Dakota Meyer, who received the Medal of Honor in 2011 for heroic actions in that same battle.  Said Meyer:  'If it wasn't for Captain Swenson, I wouldn't be alive today."  Sadly, four Marines perished in that fight, including Georgians, Staff-Sergeant Aaron Kenefick of Roswell, and Gunnery-Sergeant Edwin Johnson, Jr. of Columbus.

On the subject of Medals of Honor, one from a long-ago era recently re-surfaced.  Awarded to then-Colonel, later Major-General, Joshua Chamberlain for his "distinguished gallantry," during the Battle of Gettysburg, the medal passed-down to a surviving granddaughter when General Chamberlain died in 1914.  Decades later, the granddaughter's estate was given to her church in Massachusetts.  Later, following a book sale at the church, while inspecting the volume he'd purchased, Chamberlain's actual Civil War Medal of Honor was found lodged inside.  The buyer generously donated the historic medal to a Brunswick, Maine museum, General Chamberlain's hometown. Following the war, General Chamberlain, went on to serve four-terms as Governor of Maine.  Never tiring of giving-back to state and country, as the nation prepared to enter the Spanish-American War, General Chamberlain, again, volunteered to serve.  According to Military.com, he was said to have been "greatly distressed" when he was turned down.  He was 70-years-old at the time.