Just off of I-35, just south of the Oklahoma border, a Texas city honors the names of all of the men (and one woman, Dr. Mary Walker) who have received the Medal of Honor.
Among those names are Calvin P. Titus, a Vinton native who earned his medal in a war that many Americans don’t realize included American soldiers: The Boxer Rebellion in China.
Along with Titus are two other Benton County honorees.
James Elson, who is buried in Shellsburg, received his Medal of Honor after being wounded twice during the Civil War, including being shot while he carried his company’s flag at Vicksburg.
John Hayes, who moved to Blairstown after his military service, also earned his Medal of Honor during the Civil War. He helped to fire the cannon on the USS Kearsarge, which sank the dreaded Confederate raider CSS Alabama in June of 1864. Hayes was one of 17 Kearsarge members to receive the Medal of Honor.
Also among the bricks is one dedicated to Iowa’s newest Medal of Honor recipient, Salvatore A. Giunta, who saved members of his platoon during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2007. Giunta had grown up in Cedar Rapids, and many area veterans have met him.
Gainesville dedicated its Medal of Honor Park just three years ago, in 2015. A big celebration planned for next week will include visits by several living Medal of Honor recipients, as well as a parade. See more about that event HERE.
Among the bricks are some famous names. Theodore Roosevelt earned a Medal of Honor in 2001, in honor of for his daring charge up San Juan Hill in 1898, during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt’s son, known as Theodore, Jr., also received a Medal of Honor in 1944, after the Brigadier General helped direct troops who landed on D-Day, despite his many health problems. He would die of natural causes a few days later.
And Charles Lindberg, while not famous for his military service, was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve. President Coolidge presented Lindberg the Medal of Honor in 1918.
See more photos of the Medal of Honor Park HERE.
According to the Medal of Honor Society, there are a total of 3,515 Medal of Honor recipients in the U.S.
Calvin Titus also receives recognition locally, as one of the three faces on the Benton County Freedom Rock. His now famous quote, “I’ll try, sir,” is painted on the rock, along with his photo.
See more photos of the Benton Co. Freedom Rock HERE.
See the Freedom Rock Tour page HERE.
Learn more about the three faces of the Benton County Freedom Rock by clicking the links below: