Medal of Honor recipients appear in Gainesville

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

GAINESVILLE, TX - Living in America comes with certain privileges. Freedom is one of them, although it's probably not something that you think about everyday. We told you Thursday about veterans who've received the Medal of Honor. Stephanie Brletic details about Friday’s events in Gainesville.

There are only 105 surviving Medal of Honor recipients in the United States. Friday, 11 of them gathered at Gainesville's Lee Intermediate school to take part in the nation's only "Medal of Honor" Weekend.

"It's special for the recipients because you get a little bit skeptical about America these days. But, these guys see these fifth and sixth graders who are singing and playing and paying honor to these recipients."

Woody Williams received the Medal of Honor for using a flame thrower to clear a path of pill boxers, or bunkers in World War II.

"I knocked out seven of those and by doing that, we opened a path, we went through. Once we got through, then we were behind the pill boxes and had the advantage over the enemy," says Williams.

He says receiving the medal changed his life. "It caused me to have a new life that I would've never had, had it not been for the Medal of Honor."

A new life that included touring the country talking to children about our nation's history and the freedoms we enjoy.

Williams says life and freedom are two of the only things we're guaranteed as Americans and those privileges are not free. "This is not something that was absolutely free. Lots and lots of people paid a tremendous price just so we could say 'gee, I'm free.'"

Williams says it's an honor to be able to spend time with other Medal of Honor recipients. He says there aren't many left who are still able to travel and make appearances and he's proud to use lesson's from his past to teach America's future generations.


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  • by Elaine McHorse Location: Gainesville on Apr 6, 2008 at 08:50 PM
    Thank you so very much for your coverage of the Lee Intermediate activities for the Medal of Honor Host City Program. Channel 12 is to be commended for recognizing the importance of this program and experience for the youth of America. Thank you!
  • by Mary Location: Sherman on Apr 5, 2008 at 07:26 AM
    He;s right it wasn't free not even close. However, these days our kids don't understand that and even at my age it's not as easy to understand as it is for my mother. I'm 38 and wasn't here for the wars my Grandfather was in but my Mother sure was. But because my Grandfather I learned as much as I could about the wars of the past because school just doen't teach you very much. Everyone should be taught that every right and freedon we have is because someone we don't even know fought for it and a lot of them lost their life while we're still here enjoying our freedom. All people who now enjoy this freedom should give thanks every day to all members of the military every branch every unit, the past, present, and future military have and will served us well. To my Nephew in the Navy, Thanks for everything you do for all of us. To the Medal of Honor recipients, I don't know where we would be without what you have done. Thanks so much!!!
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