Editorial Salute - 02/27/14

Ninety-two-year-old Walter D. Ehlers passed away this week.  Worthy of note for at least two reasons.  First, Walter Ehlers was a World War II Medal of Honor recipient.  Secondly, with his death, America now has only seven Medal of Honor heroes remaining, from that devastating world-wide conflict.

Army Staff Sergeant Walter Ehlers hit the beach at Normandy on D-Day.  His brother, arriving in another boat, was killed.  Three days later, Walter Ehlers, ran ahead, through intense enemy fire, to neutralize two machine gun emplacements and one mortar crew, in the process pulling a wounded comrade to safety, and, although wounded, purposely drew fire, to help cover the withdrawal of his advance unit, in the face of growing enemy reinforcements.  His Medal of Honor citation, lauded him, in part, for "his conspicuous gallantry, intrepid leadership, and fearless aggressiveness … in the face of overwhelming enemy forces." 

A genuine American military hero, Walter Ehlers risked his life in battle for the preservation of others.  He represents the very best of our nation, along with legions of other courageous military members, from past to present, the cumulative reason why we, and those before us, have been able to reside, and excel, in this richly-blessed land of opportunity and freedom.