††††††††† Since the beginning of World War II, fewer than 1,200 Medals of Honor have been awarded because of a changed order of precedence for military decorations. More than 3,400 Congressional Medal of Honor awards have been presented since its inception during the Civil War.
††††††††† Chartered by Congress in 1958, the Congressional Medal of Honor Societyís goal is to educate and inspire the youth of America with the message that no obstacle is too large to overcome with a winning attitude.
††††††††† As an Army staff sergeant west of Tam Ky, Vietnam, August 26, 1968, Bacon and his company came under fire from an enemy bunker. Assuming command of his group after the platoon leader and several fellow soldiers were wounded by machine-gun fire, Bacon quickly organized his men and led them in a forward assault on the hostile bunker, destroying it with grenades and killing the entire gun crew.
††††††††† The leader of another platoon that moved Baconís location was wounded, so he took charge of the additional platoon and continued to fight. Four more enemy soldiers were killed and an anti-tank weapon was silenced.
††††††††† The members of both platoons accepted Baconís authority without question because of his leadership. He continued to ignore the intense hostile fire and climbed onto the exposed deck of a tank to direct fire to the enemyís position, while his wounded were evacuated. Because of Baconís efforts, the company was able to advance forward, eliminate the enemy positions and rescue the men who were trapped.
††††††††† As did Nick Bacon on that summer day in 1968 halfway around the world, thousands of courageous members of the military have persevered in the face of hostile enemy fire throughout the history of the United States. It has been demonstrated since September 11 of this year: Americans are at their best in times of crisis.