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  •  Medal of Honor Recipient Safeguarded Flag (1+ / 0-)
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    thomask
    First African-American Medal of Honor Recipient Safeguarded Flag
    WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2013 – The U.S. flag has been a symbol of American courage and patriotism for more than 200 years, and those who serve in the military hold it in high reverence.

    So it’s no surprise that Army Sgt. William H. Carney risked his life in 1863 to safeguard the symbol of American pride and inspiration, earning the distinction of being the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

    Carney, the son of slaves, was born in Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 29, 1840. As a young man, he was ambitious and eager to learn, and excelled in academics despite laws and restrictions banning African-Americans from learning to read and write.

    After his parents’ slave owner died, the Carneys were granted their freedom. Carney’s father moved further north, searching for a suitable area to settle down. After stops in Pennsylvania and New York, the elder Carney took his family to New Bedford, Mass.

    Carney spent the remainder of his adolescence in New Bedford, working odd jobs and pursuing his interests in the church. He attended services at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Union Baptist Church, and was on the precipice of making ministry his life’s work when the Civil War began. Carney decided he could better serve God by serving in the military to help free the oppressed.

    On March 4, 1863, Carney, along with 40 other African-Americans from New Bedford, joined Company C, 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry Regiment, to fight in the Civil War.  read more>>>

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:20:01 PM PST

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