President Obama will culminate a 12-year Pentagon review next month when he awards the Medal of Honor to 19 Jewish, Hispanic and African-American veterans from World War II, Korea and the Vietnam War who were passed over previously because of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.
Congress initiated the review of records in 2002 to determine whether Jewish or Hispanic heroes had been wrongly kept from high military honors. The order was later amended to include African Americans.
Is this an honorable correction of the historical record or an exercise in political correctness?
The awarding of the Medal of Honor to those Americans who were passed over because of racial or ethnic background will definitely be to correct the historical record. Unfortunately, it will also be an exercise in political correctness.
I have always been one of those Americans who cries publicly when our flag is presented or our national anthem is sung. I find it incredibly sad that our leaders in Washington took so long to honor those American men and women who deserved much better from a country they protected and loved.
As the old saying goes, “Better late than never.” That may not be of much comfort to the families of those who will be receiving our highest military honor posthumously.
Heroes are heroes, regardless of racial or ethnic background.
— Vicki Bloxom, Arlington
They deserve to receive the Medal of Honor if definitely proven being passed over because of race or ethnic backgrounds.
What is puzzling and amazing to me is that the review of records started in 2002 to determine if any were wrongly denied the award because of race or ethnic backgrounds.
Here it is, 2014! Why did it take so long?
— George J. Anthony, Fort Worth
I’d like to see the documented reasons how the Medal of Honor was denied in the first place, and not just through speculation.
By all accounts there are hundreds whose acts during wartime make them deserving of the MOH. I personally know of one captain with two Purple Hearts but deserving of five who would have been an obvious recipient of the MOH but would have refused it because he knew of at least three others under his command who deserved it more during jungle fire-action in Vietnam.
Then there was another married friend with five kids, a reserve jet pilot Marine captain who didn’t have to but re-upped to fly sorties off a carrier in Vietnam. Paul then retrained into helicopters because of need but was blown out of the sky and killed during a rescue mission of other American heroes.
And it doesn’t matter whether this “review” was “an honorable correction of the historical record or an exercise in political correctness,” just as long as the results are truthful.
— Richard M. Holbrook, Weatherford
Yes, if anyone was discriminated against and we know about it — resolve the problem if possible.
Yes, it is an exercise in political correctness.
— Anita Cox, Fort Worth
It does not matter if it is “an honorable correction of the historical record or an exercise in political correctness,” the 19 veterans earned their Medal of Honor, which is long overdue.
Besides, the phrase “political correctness” was not even around when these Jewish, Hispanic and African-American veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam were on the front lines, fighting so that we may live.
— Norma Jones, Saginaw
It is strange that these military heroes have just been discovered. If they deserve the awards, great, but no doubt Obama sees this as a photo op to sway the votes of the people of the same ethnic background.
He never misses a chance or political opportunity no matter who it involves.
— Clista Hancock, Arlington
All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, email@example.com.