December 21, 2011 - Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. It is the highest military decoration in the United States, reflecting great service and sacrifice. Of the more than 3,400 recipients, fewer than 85 are still living.
Among them is Hershel Williams, who served as a Marine corporal in World War II. He says that on the day he received the honor — Oct. 5, 1945 — he had no concept of it.
"I had never heard of it," he tells NPR's Renee Montagne and Linda Wertheimer on Morning Edition. "Why was I selected — and I'm living — and others who gave their lives weren't selected?"
Williams considers himself the medal's caretaker for those who didn't come home. He was recognized for his actions against the Japanese during the Battle of Iwo Jima. read more>>>