The Ohio Veterans' Memorial Park is funded
solely by private donations.
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The Ohio Veterans' Memorial Park has
been built by an all-volunteer work-force who want to say "Thank You" to
our veterans. If you love our
veterans and would like to help, we can use you!
Click Here If You Would Like To Volunteer
"July 25, 1963: The
requirements for the Medal of Honor were standardized among
all the services,
requiring that a recipient had
distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and
at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty."
of the Medal of Honor
On December 21, 1861, the
United States Congress passed a bill to “promote the
efficiency of the Navy” by authorizing production and
distribution of “medals of honor.” Two hundred medals were
produced, to be “bestowed upon such petty officers, landsmen
and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their
gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during
the present war.” A year later, Congress approved a similar
a ward for the Army. More than a century later, the Air
Force Medal of Honor was created. Originally given only to
enlisted soldiers, the honor was eventually extended to
officers and civilians. Because it is presented by the
president on behalf of the Congress, the award is often
called Congressional Medal of Honor. It is the highest
military honor given in the United States.
Nearly 3,500 medals have
been awarded since 1863, when the first Medals of Honor were
presented on March 25 to six members of Andrews’ Raiders, a
group of twenty-three volunteers from Ohio who followed
James J. Andrews, a Virginian and Union spy, on a daring
mission to disrupt transportation and communication lines
between Atlanta and Chattanooga by burning bridges. Only
partly successful, the Raiders were all captured by
Confederate troops. Andrews and seven others were hanged,
and fourteen were sent to prison camps. The six men who
received the first medals were exchanged for Southern
prisoners held in the North. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton
heard the story from the men shortly after their release
from prison, and presented the medals, which had recently
been authorized by Congress, to Jacob Parrott, William
Bensinger, Robert Buffum, Elihu Mason, William Pittinger,
and William H. Reddick.
Including the first six,
319 recipients of the Medal of Honor have some connection to
Ohio. Twenty-three Ohio recipients served in the Navy, one
in the Air Force, 3 in the Army Air Corps, 17 in the Marine
Corps, the remaining 275 served in the Army.
144 were born in the state and their medals are accredited to Ohio
107 recipients were not native Ohioans, but their medals were accredited to the Buckeye State
68 men were born in Ohio, but their medals were accredited to other states
The first Medal Of Honor presented to the Air Force was to Capt Eddie Rickenbacker - ACE- from
More than half of Ohio's recipients fought in the Civil War.
MOH Donald "Doc" Ballard
& MOH Leroy Petry
MOH Hershel "Woody" Williams
The last living
Medal Of Honor
recipient from Iwo Jima
The most recent
recipient from Ohio was Airman First Class
William Pitsenbarger, who in 1966 near Cam My in
the Republic of Vietnam, assisted in the care
and evacuation of wounded soldiers while placing
himself at great risk. When escape helicopters
were forced to leave the scene, Pitsenbarger
stayed on the ground, providing medical
treatment and taking up arms with infantrymen.
Pitsenbarger was fatally wounded on that day.
His award, issued in December 2000, was
presented posthumously to his family.
for the award changed over the years since the
Civil War, but the common theme has been
extraordinary courage demonstrated through
actions taken despite great danger and against
all odds. Many of the men who received the Medal
of Honor made the ultimate sacrifice of their
own lives to protect and defend not only their
fellow soldiers, but also the Americans ideals
of freedom and justice for all.