Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

President John F. Kennedy
In his inaugural speech


On December 7, 1941 Navy Ordnance man John W. Finn was awakened by the sounds of Japanese airplanes as they strafed the American airfield at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii five minutes before the first planes began wreaking devastation at Pearl Harbor.  Angered beyond words, the 32-year old sailor was one of the first to return fire.  Standing exposed to the incoming fire on an open platform, pushed beyond anger to ignore all natural human fears, he manned his gun despite 100 wounds.

"I was SO MAD," he says, "I guess I didn't have enough sense to be frightened or scared."

For his heroic efforts that day, John Finn was awarded the Medal of Honor.  Today at age 92, he is the oldest living recipient of our Nation's highest award for military valor, and the last surviving Medal of Honor hero from Pearl Harbor Day.  On September 11, 2001 John Finn was only 55 miles from New York when the terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center.  He says:
I do hope to God we hunt down, find, and kill the people who are responsible for this awful act.  I am all for retaliation, but at the same time I hate to think of the loss of good American youth--and the casualties this time could be even more."

Born in revolution, tried by conflict and preserved in war, the United States of America stands proud in an often-dangerous world because our men and women have always risen to each new challenge and responded beyond their human fears to every threat.  In this time of tragedy and sorrow, those who have valiantly defended our way of life in wars past, are quick to share their thoughts, their hopes, and their words of encouragement to a new generation of Americans.

On Tuesday, September 18th, one week after the events that propelled our Nation into what our president called "The first war of the new century", America's heroes began speaking out.  We invite you to read the MESSAGES TO AMERICA from the heroes of our past, the men who wear the Medal of Honor by clicking on the table of links at left..


If you don't see a list of links at the left

A very special thanks to Theresa Kratz of KratzKreations for the moving and patriotic graphic image tributes throughout these pages.


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