The Presidency: Something in Common

Some were men in the prime of health. Others were bent with age, and several were missing arms or legs. Some swung along on crutches; others came in wheelchairs. Some were plainly prosperous, while others wore shiny blue serge or open shirt collars. But they had one thing in common: all wore blue ribbons around their necks from which hung the bronze, star-shaped Medal of Honor.

Since 1861, when President Lincoln signed a bill authorizing it, 3,156 men have won the nation's highest award for battlefield heroism. There are 293 still living—and of them, 240...

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