>Medal of Honor Ceremony- Reflection From the Longest Tenured Crew Member


When you see the Congressional Medal of Honor (MOH) online or on a poster, you will observe a bold dark blue ribbon with 13 stars and a gold medal delicately hanging from an Eagle, Anchor, or wings and arrows. These pictures are deceiving. My direct observation of the ribbon was a light shimmering blue with a unique pronounced platform on which 13 pure white stars were embroidered. The medal was a solid upside-down star hung by two chain links on an anchor, as if the weight of the deed for which it was earned needed the stability and strength of the anchor to hold it up. The MOH weighs a mere few ounces, but in my hand it weighed almost 50 pounds; the extra 45.5 pounds must have been the pain and sacrifice it was created for.

What do you say when you are standing with three MOH recipients? Nothing. What do you say when you are holding the MOH of SM1 Douglass Munro, the Coast Guard’s only recipient who paid the ultimate price? Nothing. What was going through my mind? Everything. Who was I to stand amongst those who have put their own sense of self preservation aside to help those in need and get their brothers back home by any means necessary? My head was thick with swirling emotions and in the center of my thoughts came the truth, I had no right to stand amongst these heroes…but, I had a right to be proud of their accomplishments and it gave me confidence that there are people out there like them looking out for those who may otherwise be left behind. I revert back to the first word of my summary and add one more, humbled and honored.

~OSC Whitney