Comments for MOH Ceremony, Hessian Barracks, Frederick, Maryland 3/26/2016
What a pleasure it is for me to be here representing Eugene Mortdorf, the Commander in Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, as we honor Mary Walker the only woman, and one of only eight civilians, to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
My thanks and my admiration go to the Antietam Camp for selecting this incredible woman as their annual honoree. That Mary walker was in the Avant-Guard of those who struggled for women’s rights and opportunity is clearly evident, but her service during the Civil War and her commitment to the Union Soldiers was perhaps her greatest accomplishment.
Mary Walker’s MOH was recommended by none less than Generals William T. Sherman and George H. Thomas, two men who knew the meaning of the word Valor, and President Andrew Johnson signed the citation shortly after the war. However, Mary Walker would find that serving her nation and suffering capture and imprisonment by the Confederacy to receive the award was far easier than the fight she would face to keep it.
Yes, Mary Walker is due our respect and our attention on this Medal of Honor Weekend and once again I thank the Brothers of the Antietam Camp, who I have come to respect and appreciate for their efforts to hold this ceremony year after year in an effort to inspire and educate our nation’s citizens. May such ceremonies continue to set an example of patriotism and civic responsibility for the Sons of Union Veterans as an organization and all those who share its goals?
Thank you for your attention and May God bless all America’s heroes and heroines past and present