The Latin American Legion Post 840 and Auxiliary Unit 840, the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge are honored to announce the rededication of the Puerto Rico Area of the Grove at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 26, 2019, on the campus of Freedoms Foundation, 1601 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460. The event is free and open to the public.
Since 1978, the Latin American Legion Post 840 and Auxiliary Unit 840 have held an annual memorial ceremony to remember, recognize, and honor Puerto Rico’s nine Medal of Honor recipients. Many of these brave men made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country to preserve the freedom we enjoy: Private First Class Fernando L. Garcia (Marines, Korea), Capt. Euripides Rubio (Army, Vietnam), Private First Class Carlos J. Lozada (Army, Vietnam), Spec. 4 Hector Santiago-Colon (Army, Vietnam), Capt. Humbert R. Versace (Army, Vietnam), Staff Sgt. Felix Conde-Falcon (Army, Vietnam), Sgt. Juan E. Negron (Army, Korea), Private Demensio Rivera (Army, Korea), and Private Miguel A. Vera (Army, Korea).
The keynote speaker for the event is Joe Rodriquez, a veteran, business owner, and philanthropist who is the nephew of Medal of Honor recipient Miguel A. Vera.
Representing the Latin American Legion Post 840 on May 26 will be Commander Emeritus Jóse A. Rivera, and Commander Dr. Darryrl Johnson. Joining them will be members of Post 840 as well as members of Auxiliary Unit 840. The Friends of the Grove will be represented by their chairman, Mark Prowell, and Freedoms Foundation by Eugene J. Halus Jr., Ph.D., Vice President of Education.
The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest award for valor, and the 42-acre Medal of Honor Grove is the country’s oldest living memorial to the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients. In the Grove, those recipients are honored individually by the state or territory from which they entered military service.
When the Grove was dedicated in the 1960s, each section included a seven-foot fiberglass obelisk with the names of that state or territory’s Medal of Honor recipients. Over the years, the original obelisks were replaced with permanent granite ones. On May 26, 2019, Puerto Rico joins those ranks with the dedication of a red granite obelisk.
The Latin American Legion Post 840 and Auxiliary Unit 840 led the fundraising efforts to replace the obelisk. They and their fellow donors–Goya Foods Inc., The Ortega Foundation, the City of Philadelphia and Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, Joe Rodríguez Charities, Carlos and Georgiana Unanue, and Mark and Sue Prowell—made this day possible.
The 42-acre Medal of Honor Grove is part of the campus of Freedoms Foundation, an educational organization that promotes understanding of the nation’s founding documents and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The Friends of the Grove are responsible for the maintenance and beautification of the Grove.
Keep up with Freedoms Foundation news and events here.