published Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Medal of Honor recipients turn out for documentary in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Two Medal of Honor recipients along with the living children of World War I medal recipient Alvin C. York turned out for a documentary on the nation's highest military honor.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the film showed in downtown Knoxville on Monday. Called, "The Medal of Honor: A History," the documentary is the first film to record the history of the country's rarest military decoration.

Viewers included Sammy Davis, who was a private first class in the Army when he received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam in 1967 from President Lyndon B. Johnson. Also in the audience was Hershel "Woody" Williams, who was a U.S. Marine Corps corporal when he received the decoration from President Harry S. Truman for his actions on Iwo Jima in 1945.

"We're just ordinary people who did something in a moment of time that most of us could never do again," the 90-year-old Williams said. "The research on this documentary was very involved and it pays great tribute to those who have received it, and it will help people better understand what the medal means."

Davis, 68, said he swam across a river to bring back three fellow soldiers under gunfire to safety.

"I had a lot of people shooting at me," he said.

According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, there are fewer than 80 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. In total, fewer than 3,500 medals have been awarded, and half of them were awarded posthumously.

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