FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2013
NEW EXHIBIT PROFILES FOUR WISCONSIN MEDALS OF HONOR AND COINCIDES WITH VETERANS DAY
MADISON, Wis. (Nov. 7, 2013) ― Nearly 100 years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allied Nations in Germany in World War I. Designated Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson, November 11 has since been renamed Veterans Day to honor all United States veterans and thank them for their willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Each year, a National Veterans Day ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. And while the Nation’s Capital is a bit far for Wisconsinites to travel, our State’s Capital is not. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison unveils the “Congressional Medal of Honor” display, which showcases four medals given to Wisconsin veterans from WWII and the Korean War. One of the greatest ways to honor our veterans is to spend time learning about their sacrifices, and the new display showcases the awards and the incredible stories that go along with them. Here are four reasons to visit
the new exhibit.
1. THE MEDAL OF HONOR IS THE HIGHEST AMERICAN MILITARY AWARD
The Medal of Honor is the greatest honor a military service man or woman can earn and is given to those who showcase personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. It’s presented by the President in the name of Congress and is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is bestowed for a deed of supreme valor and is usually awarded posthumously, though there are 79 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. Of the four medals on display, President Truman and President Roosevelt presented three, and then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Omar N. Bradley in 1951 presented the fourth.
The Medal of Honor was first established in 1861, and since then, 3,463 have been awarded, 62 of these awards to Wisconsin veterans. Four of these have become a permanent part of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum collection through a generous donation from the families of the veterans.
2. THE RECIPIENTS ARE A FEW OF WISCONSIN’S MOST HONORED
The men who were awarded these medals are born and raised Wisconsinites. In fact, they may even be from your hometown, which gives you all the more reason to visit.
Staff Sergeant Gerald Endl was born and raised in Fort Atkinson and later moved to Janesville before he entered the Army in 1941. He served in New Guinea as a staff sergeant in the 32nd Infantry Division.
Technical Sergeant Beauford T. Anderson was born in Eagle and later moved to Soldiers Grove. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and received his medal for a courageous display during the Battle of Okinawa in Japan. He served in the military until 1952.
Second Lieutenant Jerome Sudut, born and raised in Wausau, lied about his age to join the Army in 1946 at just 16-years-old. He received a battlefield commission in 1951 during the Korean War.
Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. was born in Hatfield and dropped out of high school to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1941. He served in the military until 1951 and was given a Medal of Honor during a battle in the Korean War. He was also a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
3. IF YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT MILITARY HISTORY, THIS IS THE EXHIBIT FOR YOU
The stories associated with the “Congressional Medal of Honor” exhibit are nothing short of incredible. In the midst of intense battle, these men displayed military brilliance and outsmarted enemies saving U.S. soldiers, and in some cases, losing their own life in the process.
Technical Sergeant Beauford T. Anderson’s courage shone during the Battle of Okinawa in Japan. When a powerfully conducted predawn Japanese counterattack struck his unit’s flank, Anderson ordered his men to take cover in an old tomb. Armed only with a carbine, Anderson fought the enemy alone. At first, he emptied one magazine at pointblank range onto attackers. He then secured a box of mortar shells, detonated and then hurled them towards the enemy. The combined fire and his mortar shells forced the Japanese to eventually withdraw. Though he suffered a severe shrapnel wound from this battle, Anderson made his way back to the commander to report what had happened. His amazing display of bravery and skills accounted for 25 enemies defeated, along with some enemy supplies destroyed. He also survived.
Anderson’s fascinating story is just one of the four on display at the “Congressional Medal of Honor” exhibit. But we won’t spoil the rest – visit the museum to hear more.
4. THE VETERANS MUSEUM HAS EVEN MORE TO EXPLORE
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum offers exhibits, an annual living history tour at Forest Hill Cemetery, informational programs, speakers and much more. Visitors can easily spend an entire day at the museum.
Permanent exhibits include “Civil War and the 19th Century,” “Through the World Wars” and “Korean War Through Today.” These exhibits provide personal accounts of Wisconsin veterans, making it an ideal learning experience for children, school groups and the general public. The Museum also houses a number of rare collections including more than 23,000 artifacts of everything from uniforms to battle flags, personal items and souvenirs. The Museum’s temporary exhibit titled “The Last Full Measure: Wisconsin in the Civil War” commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, with never before seen Civil War artifacts. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is constantly evolving and improving to provide
visitors a unique experience and account of what it was like for Wisconsin’s veterans during America’s wars.
Nearly 900,000 veterans from Wisconsin served in our wars from the Civil War to the present, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum exists as a place to learn about and honor all of them.
To schedule interviews, contact Jennifer Carlson at (608)-264-6086. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is a free public educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of
Veterans Affairs and is located at 30 W. Mifflin St., across the street from the State Capitol. For more information go to www.wisvetsmuseum.com.
201 West Washington Avenue | Madison, Wisconsin 53707
1-800-WIS-VETS | WisVets@dva.wisconsin.gov | WisVets.com