Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ross McGinnis - Medal of Honor

On Monday, President Bush presented the nation's highest military award to a young soldier killed in Iraq. His parents, Tom and Romayne McGinnis, accepted the award in his honor.

Pfc Ross McGinnis, Knox, PA, was 19 years old when he threw himself on a hand grenade tossed into a Humvee where four other soldiers sat.
"The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military distinction," the president said. "It's given for valor beyond anything that duty could require or a superior could command."
There have been many brave and valiant soldiers, some have lived to tell about it while others have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thirty-four hundred soldiers have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Four have been given to soldiers who have served in Iraq, one in Afghanistan; all five posthumously.

When I read about Pfc McGinnis, I asked myself: what makes people do such self-less acts? Why was he put in the position to save the lives of his comrades? Did he think about what he was doing? Did he think that if I smother the grenade, I will most likely die?

I can only think that he acted on instinct. The love and loyalty he had for his colleagues put him in a position to protect them. I can only assume that each of his four colleagues he saved would have done the same if they were in his situation.

While it may be difficult to describe greatness, but we know it when we see it.

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