Larkin Speaks Out For State Monument To Honor Congressional Medal Of Honor Winners

William J. Larkin, Jr.

April 25, 2006

This week, Senator Bill Larkin reports to residents about an effort in Albany to erect a monument honoring state residents awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Senator Larkin is cosponsoring legislation in the State Senate that calls for such a monument.

"The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor that an individual can earn while serving in the Armed Services of the United States," said Senator Larkin. "The history of this award represents the tremendous sacrifices made by Americans to defend, protect, and preserve the freedoms we cherish. Recognition of these special individuals in the form of a permanent monument would be a symbol of gratitude by all New Yorkers."

There have been over 650 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor from New York State. The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863, to Private Jacob Parrott, and five others. Since then there have been: 3,461 Medals of Honor Awarded for 3,456 separate acts of heroism. Today, there are 113 living recipients of the Medal of Honor; 47% of the living recipients earned their medals more than 50 years ago while serving in WWII (38) or Korea (15). There are 60 living recipients who performed actions in Vietnam. The youngest recipient is Gordon R. Roberts, age 55.

The most recent Medal of Honor given was for actions in Korea between 1950-1953. Tibor "Ted" Rubin received the award on September 23, 2005. Before that, the medal was awarded posthumously to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith on April 4, 2005. This was for his actions in Iraq in 2003 and he is the only one so honored for actions there.

If approved by the full Legislature, the proposed monument would be dedicated on the grounds of the Empire State Plaza in Albany.