March 25 a day to salute recipients of Medal of Honor
Our community has always been proud to recognize its military veterans and celebrate their service to our country. Two of our most decorated veterans are this community’s Medal of Honor recipients -- Col. Joe M. Jackson and Maj. Stephen W. Pless -- who received the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson on Jan. 16, 1969, for their heroics in Vietnam.
Pless has passed away, and Jackson no longer lives in our community, but both are recognized in a sculpture in the Veterans Plaza, located at the corner of Jackson Street and Temple Avenue. The National Guard Armory in Newnan is named in honor of these two men.
We mention Pless and Jackson today to remind readers that March 25 is Medal of Honor Day in our nation. This day is not observed with as much fanfare as Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day, but there are groups seeking to bring attention to Medal of Honor Day.
This week, we received information from The Hilliard A. Wilbanks Foundation and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society promoting Medal of Honor Day. The groups are seeking to “increase public awareness of the Medal of Honor and educate our future generations about the history and unique aspects of the award.”
Like Pless and Jackson, Wilbanks, a Cornelia, Ga., native, received the medal for his service in Vietnam. There are 21 Georgia recipients who share the honor of the highest award for heroism in military action that this nation can bestow on a member of its Armed Forces.
The Medal of Honor recipients are among the most heroic of the brave men and women who have served our country and protected our freedom throughout this nation’s history. We join all those in again saluting all our Medal of Honor recipients on the eve of this 2013 Medal of Honor Day.