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    Black D-Day Combat Medic’s Long-Denied Medal Tenderly Laid on Omaha Beach Where He Bled, Saved Lives

    Black D-Day Combat Medic's Long-Denied Medal Tenderly Laid on Omaha Beach Where He Bled, Saved Lives

    OMAHA BEACH, (AP) — A medal richly deserved but long denied to an African American combat medic wounded on Omaha Beach in the D-Day landings was tenderly laid Friday on the hallowed sands where he saved lives and shed blood.

    U.S. First soldiers held a ceremony in honor of Cpl. Waverly B. Woodson Jr. on the beach where he came ashore and was wounded, and where hundreds of American soldiers were killed by withering fire in the June 6, 1944, landings in Normandy, northern France.

    The Distinguished Service Cross is the second-highest honor that can be bestowed on a member of the U.S. Army and is awarded for extraordinary heroism.

    The medal was awarded posthumously to Woodson this month — just ahead of the 80th anniversary of D-Day — following years of lobbying for more recognition of his achievement on that fateful day.

    U.S. First Army Maj. Gen. William Ryan gently placed the World War II-era medal on the sand, close to the spot where Woodson is thought to have come ashore on the now-peaceful beach that on D-Day was raked by German machine-gun and artillery rounds before U.S. forces finally captured it and started pushing inland.

    The soldiers all saluted, still and quiet under blue skies, when U.S. First Army Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Prosser gave the order to present arms.

    U.S. First Army historian Capt. Kevin Braafladt explained to the soldiers that the next step would be the medal's presentation to…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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