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WWII Medal of Honor recipient to lie in state at US Capitol

WWII Medal of Honor recipient to lie in state at US Capitol


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the final remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World Conflict II, will lie in state on the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin introduced at a memorial on Sunday the place Williams was remembered for his braveness, humility and selflessness.

“He by no means give up giving again,” mentioned Manchin. That included elevating cash for gold star households — speedy members of the family of fallen service members — with an annual bike journey.

“It is raised a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars},” Manchin mentioned. He joked that “It’s not going to be stopping, as a result of Woody would come after me in a heartbeat.”

Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, mentioned he’ll miss Williams’ telephone calls, noting how Williams would all the time give him instructions and to-do lists.

“I’ll miss him telling me how I’m alleged to vote. And after I didn’t, how I made a mistake,” Manchin mentioned.

Williams, who died on Wednesday at 98, was a legend in his native West Virginia for his heroics below fireplace over a number of essential hours on the Battle of Iwo Jima. As a younger Marine corporal, Williams went forward of his unit in February 1945 and eradicated a sequence of Japanese machine gun positions. Going through small-arms fireplace, Williams fought for 4 hours, repeatedly returning to arrange demolition costs and procure flamethrowers.

Later that 12 months, the 22-year-old Williams acquired the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for navy valor.

Gen. David H. Berger, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, mentioned on the memorial that Williams all the time took exception to the notion that he achieved that feat alone. He all the time acknowledged the opposite males on his workforce, a few of whom by no means returned dwelling.

“Woody could be the most real individual I ever met,” Berger mentioned, noting his distinctive mixture of humility and humor. “He may make you snort. He may make you care. That was his reward.”

Williams remained within the Marines after the warfare, serving a complete of 20 years, earlier than working for the Veterans Administration for 33 years as a veterans service consultant. In 2018, the Huntington VA medical middle was renamed in his honor, and the Navy commissioned a cellular base sea vessel in his title in 2020.

“He left an indelible mark on our Marine Corps,” Berger mentioned. “So long as there are Marines, his legacy will dwell on.”



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