Cpl. Charles J. Berry of Lorain Ohio served with the First Battalion, Fifth Marine Division. He gave his life on March 3, 1945, on Iwo Jima. During a Japanese infiltration attack he diligently and expertly manned a machine gun emplacement, helping to prevent his position from being overrun. Shortly after midnight he sacrificed himself by diving onto a grenade, thereby saving the Marines with whom he was sharing a foxhole. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor
Well over a million U.S. service members have fallen in action since 1775. I wish I could cite them all by name and deed.
But my soapbox and megaphone just aren’t big enough. So I compromise, in my celebration of Memorial Day, by citing the name and deeds of Cpl. Charles J. Berry, USMC, who died for his country on Iwo.
In the annals of the U.S. military there are no shortage of heroes. We can and should honor them all. But to humanize that process, to put a face on it, I suggest we all choose just one fallen warrior and perpetuate his or her memory by citing them by name, and recalling their deeds.
Mine is Cpl. Charles J. Berry, Medal of Honor recipient. Who’s yours?