History is too often written quickly and sometimes colored by bias. President Barack Obama is correcting a historical wrong by awarding the Medal of Honor to 24 minority servicemen who failed to receive the distinction because of racial discrimination. It is an important, necessary step to correct the record and honor the contributions of all of America's heroes, regardless of the color of their skin.
The Medal of Honor is the military's highest award for combat valor. It is bestowed upon members of the armed forces who go above and beyond the call of duty while serving. In 2002, Congress called for a review of the war records of Jewish and Hispanic Americans who served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars to ensure they were not overlooked for the award because of prejudice. During the review, officials also found other men who should have received the Medal of Honor, including Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris, a Green Beret from Cocoa who was lauded for his acts as a commander of a strike force in Vietnam in 1969. Morris, an African-American, is one of three servicemen who will receive the medal from Obama during a March 18 ceremony. The others will be awarded posthumously.
In correcting the record to accurately reflect the heroic accomplishments of all Americans, the nation can break down injustice, correct the mistakes of the past and move forward together.