Posted Tuesday June 25, 2019 by ffvfadmin



The Medal of Honor lesson —

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things

This essay appeared on Fox News Opinion on June 25, 2019.


Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan jokes with teachers after speaking with them at Freedoms Foundation.

By Trasa Cobern

I expected a week of superheroes when I signed up for the summer graduate program Medal of Honor Legacy: Cold War.

Having grown up in a military family and on Army bases, I knew all about the Medal of Honor. It is given for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of … life above and beyond the call of duty.” Only 3,506 have been issued since it was first awarded during the Civil War. Most since World War II have been given posthumously, and there are only 70 recipients still with us.

Therefore I jumped at the chance to attend this workshop at Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge during my summer hiatus from teaching American history to 11th graders. I was interested in the Cold War aspect of the program, but far more so in the Medal of Honor Legacy piece. We would get to meet a medal recipient and hear from the Medal of Honor Foundation about character development. I wanted to hear about these superheroes.

I came away disappointed — and for good reason. While Medal of Honor recipients do indeed perform heroic deeds under extremely difficult circumstances, they are not superheroes.

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