Today is Memorial Day, a holiday to honor and appreciate the hundreds of thousands of American men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion, making the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could enjoy our freedoms. From the American Revolution up to our present day, America was founded upon, and survives because of, the military members who bled and died for our country.
I learned the story of young PFC. Milton Olive III at the National Museum of the United States Army. After Olive went off to fight in the Vietnam War, he wrote home, “I’m over here in Never Never Land fighting this hellish war.” Sadly, that “hellish war” took his life when he was still only a teenager—he threw himself on a grenade to save his fellows.
Union soldier Cpl. William Calvin Hileman of Pennsylvania was killed during the First Battle of Kernstown (March 1862). He managed to shoot seven of the enemy in seven shots—after he received his fatal wound.
Shizuya Hayashi is one of the largely forgotten Japanese-American military heroes of World War II. He charged and took a German machine gun nest alone near Cerasuolo, Italy.
Back in the American Revolution, John Laurens served as aide-de-camp to George Washington, emissary to France, and again as an officer during the Battle of Yorktown before he was killed in one of the last skirmishes of the war. Brave almost to the point of recklessness, he was also a dedicated champion of black Americans’ rights and an ardent abolitionist.
Read the full stories of these soldiers’ heroics at PJ Media.
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