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Bells toll nationwide to honor 13 D-Day Medal of Honor recipients

Church bells (Kober/WikiCommons)
June 06, 2019

At approximately 20 churches, schools, and town halls across the country today, a tribute will take place to honor 13 Medal of Honor recipients who served in the D-Day invasion 75 years ago.

At 2:00 p.m. EST today, bells will toll 13 times at each location to commemorate each of the 13 Medal of Honor recipients, in a movement sponsored by the non-profit National Medal of Honor Museum to pay tribute to the heroism of those who participated in the June 6, 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy.

The churches, schools, and town halls are located in the birthplace of each Medal of Honor recipient.

Joe Daniels, CEO of the National Medal of Honor  Museum said, “When these 13 heroes landed on the beaches of Normandy, they did so for pride of country, not knowing that their actions on that day and the days after, would be so significant that it would earn them individual recognition, much less the Medal of Honor. It is only fitting that we honor these brave Medal of Honor recipients in whatever way we can. I hope that everyone hearing the 13 bell tolls in the recipients’ hometowns across America on this, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, will take pride in this recognition.”

The 13 honorees and where the bells will toll are:

  • Carlton W. Barrett at First United Methodist Church in Fulton, New York
  • John Edward Butts at Trinity Lutheran Church in Medina, New York
  • Charles N. DeGlopper at Trinity Church in Grand Island, New York
  • Robert G. Cole at Trinity Baptist Church at Fort Sam Houston, Texas
  • John D. Kelly at First Presbyterian Church in Venango Township, Pennsylvania
  • Jimmie W. Monteith Jr. at Clifton Forge Presbyterian Church in Low Moor, Virginia
  • Carlos C. Ogden at Presbyterian Church in Borton, Illinois
  • John J. Pinder Jr. at Paris Presbyterian Church in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
  • Theodore Roosevelt at North Shore Community Church in Oyster Bay, New York
  • Walter D. Ehlers at C.L. Hover Opera House in Junction City, Kansas
  • Joe Gandara at St. Monica Catholic Community Church in Santa Monica, California
  • Frank D. Peregory at St. Stephen’s Church in Esmont, Virginia
  • Arthur F. Defranzos at Cliftondale Congregational Church in Saugus, Massachusetts

The National Medal of Honor Museum’s website states, “the Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest and most prestigious military decoration. Presented to roughly 3,500 recipients since its founding during the Civil War, the medal symbolizes the timeless American ideals of courage, patriotism, sacrifice, integrity, and humility.”

The museum had planned to erect a permanent museum on the shores of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, but after some conflict, that location was not ideal. Daniels said he is working diligently to find a different location for the museum in a major city and he will make an announcement this fall.