Monument honoring Medal of Honor recipients unveiled in Dover

By Tom Lehman 4:50pm, October 13, 2012 - Updated 4:59pm, October 14, 2012
Eighteen Medal of Honor recipients who were either born or lived in the state of Delaware were honored at Saturday's monument dedication ceremony in the state's capitol.

A monument recognizing each of Delaware's Congressional Medal of Honor recipients has been unveiled on the east side of Legislative Hall. The soldiers honored by the dedication served in conflicts as early as the Civil War while the most recent recipient participated in World War II.

The names inscribed on the monument are symbolic of thousands of servicemen says Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. His department oversaw the construction of the $11,000 monument, which is nearly identical to another memorial honoring soldiers who participated in the Revolutionary War placed on the House side of Legislative Hall.

"This monument, dedicated to these eighteen men, really serves as an example of all of the people that have given their lives and given their service to their country," he says.

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State Rep. Earl Jacques (D-Glasgow) says the monument will help remind Delawareans of the contributions of soldiers who served in conflicts such as the Civil War and World War II.

"People don't realize that our freedoms are earned by the military people who fought for our freedoms," he says.

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Although none of the soldiers named on the monument remain alive, Paul Cathell, President of the Delaware Medal of Honor Association says the monument stands testament to their military service.

"The people, family as well will be passing on and we don't want to forget there memories, so that's why we have this monument here," he says.

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The east lawn of Legislative Hall is reserved for honoring the military, making the monument's placement especially appropriate Bullock says.

Dozens of family members related to the soldiers named on the monument attended the meeting. Barbara Billingsley Tigani is the great niece of Bernard McCarren, a Civil War veteran who earned his medal for capturing Confederate battle flag during the Battle of Gettysburg and says the monument is important for younger generations.

"I think through generations this will be a reminder of what they gave up and how hard they fought to keep our freedoms," she says.

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