Harry S. Truman photo

Remarks on Presenting the Congressional Medal of Honor to Fifteen Members of the Armed Forces.

October 12, 1945

WELL, once again I have had a very great privilege. I would rather do what I have been doing this morning than any other one of my arduous duties. This one is a pleasure.

When you look at these young men, you see the United States of America, the greatest republic on earth, the country that can meet any situation when it becomes necessary.

These young men were doing their duty. They didn't think they were being heroes. They didn't think they were doing anything unusual. They were just doing what the situation called for.

As I have told the rest of these young men who have been here before me, I would much rather have that Medal around my neck than to be President of the United States. It is the greatest honor that can come to a man. It is an honor that all of us strive for, but very few of us ever achieve.

Now these young men will go back and become citizens of this great country, and they will make good citizens; and you won't find any of them bragging about what they have done or what they propose to do. They are just going to be good citizens of the United States, and they are going to help us take this Republic to its leadership in the world, where it belongs, and where it has belonged for the past 25 years.

Thank you very much for giving me this pleasure and this privilege.

Note: The presentation was made by the President in a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House. The Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded to the following members of the Armed Forces from the European and Pacific theaters: Cpl. T. A. Atkins, Cpl. Edward A. Bennett, Cpl. M. E. Biddle, Capt. J. M. Burt, Cpl. C. B. Craft, Cpl. Desmond T. Doss, T. Sgt. F. V. Homer, T. Sgt. C. H. Karaberis, Sgt. T. J. Kelly, Sgt. D. J. Kerstetter, Sgt. N. Oresko, T. Sgt. C. Rodriguez, 1st Lt. E. A. Silk, 2d Lt. J. C. Sjogren, and Pfc. W. A. Soderman.

Harry S Truman, Remarks on Presenting the Congressional Medal of Honor to Fifteen Members of the Armed Forces. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230355

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