Posted Saturday September 29, 2018 by ffvfadmin

Sister Maria Veronica Keane, IHM
Medal of Honor Grove archivist for 17 years

“I hate the idea of war, but I love the men who have given me the privilege of worshipping my God as I please,” Sister Maria Veronica Keane, IHM, said in a 1979 interview.

Sister Veronica, as she was known, served as archivist for the Medal of Honor Grove, maintaining the archives of the U. S. Congressional Medal of Honor Society for 17 years. She compiled the only complete record of recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor since its inception during the Civil War. Her efforts resulted in a hand-written portfolio for each of what was then 3,387 recipients, one that detailed their acts of valor in service of their country. She also obtained photographs of more than 40 percent of the men and one woman who earned the country’s highest military award for valor against an enemy force. Because she came to know many of the living Medal recipients, she had strong opinions about how their stories should be told.

“Please,” Sister Veronica said bluntly in one interview,  “when you refer to Congressional Medal of Honor holders, don’t call them ‘Medal winners.’ There was no lottery; no games; it was nothing but pure grit and bravery that got them those medals.”

Among the many honors and citations Sister Veronica received was the 12th annual “Dickey Chapelle” Award, an elite group of recipients that includes Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, actress Martha Raye, and legendary singer Kate Smith. The award is named for the woman news correspondent who covered the Marines during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. (The Evening Bulletin, Aug. 22, 1978)

Sister Veronica passed away on Nov. 4, 2002. She is buried at Immaculata-Camilla Cemetery.

Sister Veronica’s Awards
1975 – 1986

Society of the Fourty and Eight

Presidential Classroom

U.S.M.C. National Award for Distinguished Service

National Sojourners Patriot of’ 76

Catholic Forensics

U.S.M.C. League Dickey Chapell Award

U.S. Navy Petty Officers – 12 Gold Hash

V.F.W. Service Award

Philadelphia Citation —29th Division

D.A.V. Distinguished Service Award

American Legion – Dept. of California

Retired Officers Association Membership

AmVets Silver Saber Award

American Defense Preparedness Association

Barkley Forum – Atlanta GA Debate Coach

Cyrano Award, University of Scranton

Energy Youth Debates

First Lady of Forensics – Phila. Forensics League

Silver Plate – National Forensic Leadership

V.F.W. Recognition for Medal of Honor Archives

Citation from Senate of PA – Golden Jubilee

V.F.W.   Main Line Post

American Legion Auxiliary – Service for America

Honorary Citizenship – West Virginia

Certificate of Recognition from State of Rhode Island

Naval Base Chapel – NAVAL AND MARINE Recognition

Rotary Club – Paul Harris Fellow

Exchange Club of Greater Valley Forge

Knights of Columbus Award – Cardinal Dougherty Assembly

Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Award

American Cultural Society Award

D.A.V. PA Francis A. Amberg Award

American Legion Auxiliary – Unsung Heroine Award

Knights of Columbus – Honorary 4th Degree – Calvert Province

Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Certificate

Exchange Club of Norristown Certificate

Plaque from U. S. Naval Base – San Diego, AC

Military Order of Purple Heart National Award

West Chester Veterans Council Recognition

Medal of Honor Society – Co-Founder of Archives

Daniel Boone Heritage Foundation – Americanism Award