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Middletown Transcript
  • Middletown VFW to host 14th annual Medal of Honor ceremony Tuesday

  • The 15 Delawareans who have received the nation’s highest military honor will be remembered Tuesday during the 14th annual National Medal of Honor Ceremony at VFW Post #3792 south of Middletown.
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    • IF YOU GO

      WHEN 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25


      WHERE VFW Sgt. William Lloyd Nelson Memorial Post #3792 at 5695 Summit Bridge Road, south of Middletown


      COST Free

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      IF YOU GO

      WHEN 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25



      WHERE VFW Sgt. William Lloyd Nelson Memorial Post #3792 at 5695 Summit Bridge Road, south of Middletown



      COST Free



      INFO Contact Paul Cathell, president of the Delaware Medal of Honor Historical Association by calling (302) 994-2061 or VFW Post #3792 Commander Sherri Leslie at (302) 898-1895.

  • WHAT IS IT?
    The 15 Delawareans who have received the nation’s highest military honor will be remembered Tuesday during the 14th annual National Medal of Honor Ceremony at VFW Post #3792 south of Middletown.
    The 1 p.m. event, co-hosted by the Delaware Medal of Honor Historical Association, will be attended by veterans, state legislators, local high school students, family members of Medal of Honor recipients and members of the public interested in recognizing the sacrifices of some of the First State’s greatest heroes.
    Guest speakers will include Major Gen. Francis D. Vavala, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard; William “Russ” Hall, state surgeon for the VFW Department of Delaware and commander of Post #8801 in Clayton; Jim Thompson, commander of the Northeast Chapter of the Buffalo Soldier; and Roger A. Martin, a former state senator, Middletown High School teacher and author of “Delaware’s Medal of Honor Winners.”
    The free event also will feature a benediction by Dr. Michelle Russell, a color guard from Middletown High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Cavaliers Marching Band bugler Christopher Gillie and 13-year-old Katie Loftus of Smyrna, who will sing the national anthem and “God Bless America.”
    Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available afterwards.
    HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?
    The annual Medal of Honor ceremonies were started in 2001 by Paul Cathell Jr., the founder and president of the Delaware Medal of Honor Historical Association, and his wife Cassie, in partnership with VFW Post #3792.
    Cathell said he began the association, and later the annual remembrance services, after reading Martin’s 1991 book, which told the stories of 14 of Delaware’s 15 Medal of Honor recipients, all of whom earned the medal between the Civil War to World War II.
    “What got us started was our realization that most people, myself included at the time, don’t know who these recipients were, what they did or how much it means to earn a Medal of Honor,” Cathell said during the 2013 ceremony. “What we want is for people to remember the fact that these gentlemen … have done something above and beyond the call of duty, and for most of them, it was the actions they made, in just a few minutes or less, that made them a hero.”
    WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE?
    The annual ceremony is held every March 25, which was designated as the National Medal of Honor Day by Congress in 1990.
    Even the location of the ceremony has significance.
    VFW Post #3792 on Summit Bridge Road is named the Sgt. William Lloyd Nelson Memorial Post in honor of Delaware’s last Medal of Honor recipient, who was killed in action April 24, 1943, while leading a mortar attack that halted an enemy charge in Tunisia.
    Page 2 of 2 - Middletown native Leonard Chadwick, an apprentice first class in the U.S. Navy during the Spanish-American War, also received a Medal of Honor for his bravery aboard the USS Marblehead in 1898.
    Meanwhile, Cecil County, Md.-native Charles Pierce, who joined the U.S. Army in Delaware City, received the Medal of Honor for holding a bridge against a superior force while severely wounded in 1899 during the Philippine Insurrection.
    WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND
    “It’s important to know and honor these people, many of whom sacrificed their lives and their livelihood for their country. These are some of our nation’s and our state’s greatest heroes and we believe they, and their families, deserve to be recognized.”
    Sherri Leslie, Commander of VFW Post #3792
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