Medal of Honor Memorial dedicated

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Yukon Veterans Museum founder and curator Rick Cacini attends the dedication of the Oklahoma Medal of Honor Memorial on Veterans Day Nov. 11 at Manuel Perez Park in southeast Oklahoma City. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

The Yukon Veterans Museum was represented at a Veterans Day ceremony in Oklahoma City.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Rick Cacini attended the dedication of the Oklahoma Medal of Honor Memorial on Nov. 11 at Manuel Perez Park, 21 SE 17th.

“It was an honor to attend the program to recognize 35 outstanding U.S. military veterans for their dedicated service to our country,” said Cacini, founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum. “The sacrifices these Oklahoma service members made helped provide us with the freedoms we enjoy today.

“Many of these Oklahoma Medal of Honor honorees made the supreme sacrifice and died in combat on the battlefield, often saving their fellow soldiers from injury and death.”

Local U.S. military veterans – including Yukon City Council Member Rick Cacini (right) attend the Veterans Day ceremony in Oklahoma City. The event honored 35 Oklahomans who are Oklahoma Medal of Honor Memorial recipients. (Photo provided)

Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs Secretary Rita Aragon (U.S. Air Force Ret. Major General) read aloud the names of the Oklahoma Medal of Honor recipients. This was followed by the laying of a memorial wreath and a flyover ceremonial flight.

The morning program also featured presentation of the colors by the Tinker Air Force Base Color Guard, raising of the flag by the Douglass High School ROTC and national anthem sung by Southmoore High School sophomore Ashley Rodriguez.

Other participants included Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 4 from Tinker Air Force Base, the Friends of Manuel Perez Park and local veterans.

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HONORING 35 HEROES

This week’s dedication of the Oklahoma Medal of Honor Memorial honored 35 military heroes from six U.S. wars. These Oklahomans and their branches of service are:

INDIAN WARS: Amos Chapman (U.S. Cavalry).

PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR: Joseph L. Epps (Army).

WORLD WAR I: George P. Hays (Army), Samuel M. Sampler (Army) and Harold L. Turner (Army).

WORLD WAR II: Kenneth D. Bailey (Marines), Charles F. Carey Jr. (Army), Ernest Childers (Army), John R. Crews (Army), Ernest E. Evans (Navy), Donald J. Gott (Army), Roy W. Harmon (Army), George D. Keathley (Army), Harold G. Kiner (Army), Richard M. McCool Jr. (Navy), Troy A. McGill (Army), Jack C. Montgomery (Army), Manuel Perez Jr. (Army), John N. Reese Jr. (Army), Ruben Rivers (Army), Henry Schauer (Army), Albert Schwab (Marines), William R. Shockley (Army), John L. Smith (Marines), Jack L. Treadwell (Army), Leon R. Vance Jr. (Air Force), and Herman C. Wallace (Army).

KOREAN WAR: Tony K. Burris (Army), Raymond Harvey (Army) and Frederick F. Henry (Army).

VIETNAM WAR: Bennie G. Adkins (Army), Melvin Morris (Army), Larry S. Pierce (Army), Riley L. Pitts (Army), and Donald P. Sloat (Army).

Besides Aragon, other distinguished guests at the Nov. 11th Veterans Day service were: State Sen. Michael Brooks-Jimenez (D-44), State Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-92), U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, and Oklahoma City Parks Director Douglas R. Kupper.