Since the Medal of Honor was created as the nation's highest military award for bravery in 1861, fewer than 3,600 medals have been awarded. Now, there are plans to create a museum dedicated to the men and one woman who've received it. James Rosen speaks with a recent recipient of the medal, whose gallantry was caught on camera.
President Obama: As the helicopter touches down by a remote village, you see out of a cloud of dust an American soldier. He's without his helmet, standing in the open, exposing himself to enemy fire, standing watch over a severely wounded soldier.
James Rosen: In 2013, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to army captain William Swenson for his bravery in Afghanistan, four years earlier, at the battle of Ganjgal. A 6-hour ambush near the Pakistani border that killed 12-coalition troops, wounded 18-more.
Lt. Col. William Swenson: When you're talking about combat, you never actually end up telling the full story in one go. You are telling the story probably for the remainder of the time you're alive. And that's your responsibility, because the people that you served with who didn't come back, that's a way of keeping them alive.
James: Sergeant First-Class Kenneth Westbrook was shot in the neck that day. Captain Swenson carried Westbrook the length of two football fields, loaded him onto a medevac chopper, and, in a spontaneous display of compassion, gave his wounded comrade a kiss on the head. Westbrook made it back to American soil, but died a month later at Walter Reed.
President Obama: Will did things that nobody else would ever do. And he did it for his guys and everybody on the ground to get them out.
James: Swenson was the first army officer to receive the nation's highest military decoration since the Vietnam War. And the first ever to have his combat heroics captured on video. Today, the Seattle native, now a lieutenant colonel, wants to ensure that the valor of all others awarded the medal, their acts of bravery performed outside camera range, will also be well-documented. The vehicle: The National Medal of Honor Museum, awaiting construction in Arlington, Texas. The $250 institution will tell the stories of the medal's more than 35-hundred recipients, from the civil war onward.
Lt. Col. William Swenson: Telling that story, it's complex. It's emotional. And how do you tell it to a nation so that they can understand that what we do on behalf of them is for a cause?
James: Shaping these inspiring, often wrenching, narratives will be the museum's executive director, Joe Daniels. Formerly president and CEO of the September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York. Daniels was at the World Trade Center that dark day, and sees parallels between the heroism displayed on 9/11 and the selflessness demonstrated by medal of honor recipients.
Joe Daniels: So the hope of this museum, and our belief, is that through this museum, people will understand those selfless things, and apply that, be inspired in their everyday lives, to do things that come at a personal cost.
James: The museum's honorary directors are the living former presidents. Commanders-in-chief who hung the Medal of Honor around the necks of heroes. And as one of those heroes noted, making this museum a success will require the same traits as the battlefield does.
Lt. Col. Swenson: It's not about individuals, it's about the team. And it's about a team working collectively on behalf of themselves, and each other, but also on behalf of our nation.
Mike Coffee says
This is not a public post but an inquiry- somehow I stopped receiving the daily email updates from shayrl attkisson. I am not completely sure I didn’t somehow inadvertently cancel but I truly miss having a daily news letter that I actually trust to contain actual truth from an unbiased source . Please resubscribe me for these updates - thank you much.
Sharyl Attkisson says
I am checking into this; I don't know why they stopped. I will try to get back to you!
This is my 4th week of N O DAILY MAIL from you, Sharyl, and having re-subscribed each week.
You need’t reply to my confirmation of Mike Coffee’s above revelation.
Re: Mensheviks’ / Bolsheviks’ machinations
The term "INTERNATIONALIST" is equivalent to the terms "ONE
WORLDER" and "GLOBALIST," which definition is antithetical
to the idea "NATIONALISM"--or, for example, any patriotic
care and protection of America AS A SOVEREIGN NATION-STATE.
INTERNATIONALISM is a political philosophy that includes the
idea of a UNITED NATIONS OF THE WORLD, which ultimate
governing body eventually will evolve from investing power
in the United Nations, the WTO and other global-
In other words, INTERNATIONALISTS have no PATRIOTIC ALLE-
GIANCE to the United States' sovereign interests, but are
willing to sacrifice America's well-being for the benefit of
INTERNATIONALISM--for constructing ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.
NAFTA and GATT and the WTO are the INTERNATIONALISTS' first-
step efforts at sacrificing the best interests of the United
States for constructing ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT--to bilk U.S.
taxpayers' federal treasury!--for propping up Third World
economies and installing the foundation for an eventual
GLOBAL ECONOMIC SOCIALISM.
The greatest obstacle to GLOBALISTS' agenda is the MAJORITY
WHITE POPULATION in America. It is RACIAL HOMOGENEITY, or
lack of widespread racial diversity, that can prevent any
major step in reaching their goal.
To every rational mind, racial and ethnic and religious
differences cause conflicts in communities; a breaking of
interconnections which help citizens to form "a more perfect
Union"--for fighting the ignoble efforts of ONE WORLDERS in
BIG GOVERNMENT, BIG BANKING and BIG BUSINESS.
Either resist the feds' diversity schemes or abandon any
hope of saving America from the social and political chaos
that such diversity engenders.
IMMIGRANTS RECRUITED BY U.S. FOR DIVERSITY
St. Petersburg Times
At a time of widespread public grumbling that
immigration is out of control, the United States
is spreading the word in more than 100 countries
that it wants thousands of new immigrants.
The recruitment is part of a little-known pro-
gram in which the United States tries to drum up
immigrants from places underrepresented in current
migration to America.
So in an odd human lottery, the government
this summer will randomly pick 55,000 people from
around the world and award them visas to move
permanently to the United States.
The process begins Jan. 31, when millions of
people can take a blank piece of paper, write
their name, date of birth and address, and send
it to a government post-office box in Portsmouth,
They pay no fee. All they need is a high
school diploma and proof they were born in any
but a handful of countries such as Mexico, China
and the Philippines, which already generate the
bulk of current immigrants.
The visa program was created not so much to
increase immigration as to refashion it on a prin-
ciple American workplaces and universities are
abuzz with: diversity.
"This was supposed to be for countries that
have low immigration rates," said Suzanne Lawrence,
a spokeswoman for the State Department, which
conducts the program. "It's to diversify the
existing pool of immigrants."
Historically, U.S. immigration rules gave
preference to Europeans. But that changed in
1965 when new rules threw America's doors open to
people from any country.
Today, 85 percent of immigrants come from
Latin America and Asia. Because U.S. immigration
policies give priority to reuniting families,
nearly all of the 800,000 immigrants allowed in
legally every year are sponsored by relatives.
They hail from a small pool of countries:
Mexico, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, the
Dominican Republic, India, El Salvador, Britain,
South Korea, Canada, Jamaica, Taiwan and Columbia
--all of which are barred from the visa lottery.
The diversity lottery was introduced in 1990
by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts
Democrat, who saw to it that a substantial number
of slots were set aside for Irish applicants.
Since last year, however, the lottery has been
open equally to all except the 13 dominant
Last year's lottery drew 6.5 million applica-
tions, and the visas still are being processed.
State Department officials held the drawing and
sent notices to 110,000 people, expecting that
about half will ultimately qualify.
Once picked in the lottery, applicants must
go through the same screening process as other
legal immigrants. There will be medical tests
to establish they are free of AIDS and tubercu-
losis, and they must sign oaths declaring they
are not communists or terrorists, don't have
criminal records and don't practice polygamy.
The first 55,000 people to qualify will become