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Staff file photo by Troy Stolt / Charles H. Coolidge Jr. stands for a portrait in front of a photograph of his father, Medal of Honor recipient Charles H. Coolidge Sr. inside of the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center last August in Chattanooga. Coolidge Sr. died Tuesday. He was 99.

With the passing of 99-year-old Medal of Honor recipient Charles H. Coolidge Sr. this week, we and our nation have lost a real hero and far more than just the man for whom Coolidge Park, the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center and a portion of U.S. Highway 27 are named.

In October 1944, the then-23-year-old Coolidge, along with fewer than 30 mostly green and fresh-faced soldiers, held off German troops and tanks through seven repeat attacks over four days — holding secure Hill 623 east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, a crucial position near the German border.

During those tense days, as the Allies inched closer to victory, Coolidge and his men killed 26 Germans and injured up to 60 others.

War couldn't keep Charles Coolidge from sharing his integrity, courage and commitment. Not then, and not for nearly eight decades more.

Today we again honor him. May he rest now in eternal peace.

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