Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Honoring the Office of Strategic Services

States House of Representatives the Honorable Paul D Ryan that's rude everyone ladies and gentlemen good afternoon and welcome to the United States Capitol and I want to thank you for braving the elements to get here since America's earliest days every Congress has had this very happy privilege to present a gold medal and recognition of extraordinary deeds there is no higher honor that we can bestow here in Congress today pursuant to s 2230 4 we will present the medal to the members of the Office of Strategic Services for their indispensible contributions to victory in World War two the men and women of the OSS have never been collectively recognized for their heroism until this moment we are so fortunate to have with us here a number of living veterans of the OSS as we begin our ceremony please join me in welcoming these American heroes [Applause] ladies and gentlemen please stand for the presentation of the colors by the United States Armed Forces color guard the performance of our national anthem and the retiring of the colors you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the Rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there o say towards the heart star-spangled banner yet wave the land of the free home of the brave [Applause] ladies and gentlemen please remain standing as the chaplain of the United States Senate dr. Barry black gives the invocation let us pray Lord God of hosts you stretch out the heavens like a curtain with your eternal wisdom and love you continue to protect this land we love Lord we praise you for this opportunity to honor the Office of Strategic Services were grateful for this intelligent service a predecessor of the modern Central Intelligence Agency and for those who served so faithfully in it Lord you blessed them to coordinate espionage activities during World War two for all branches of the American armed services we thank you for using OSS to develop innovative communication equipment that helped bring about the defeat of the Axis powers may your providential leading of the Office of Strategic Services remind us that you still rule in the affairs of humanity hasten the day when weapons of war will be no more and when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream bless this Congressional Gold medal ceremony we pray in your great name oh man please be seated ladies and gentlemen United States representative from the fifth District of Ohio the Honorable Robert E Lauda we're good afternoon thank you so much for being here today today is a day that we've worked hard for for many years and we're here to honor and recognize these brave veterans who tell out Tom Brokaw proclaimed members of the greatest generation for their sacrifice superior service and major contributions during World War two as you all know the Office of Strategic Services was America's first effort to implement a system of strategic intelligence during World War two and provided the basis for the modern Dale American intelligence and Special Operations communities under leadership of OSS founder General William J Wild Bill Donovan the OSS conducted acts of great bravery and accomplished feats of which many would have deemed impossible during the war and their efforts were another factor in the Allied victory in World War two let me highlight one veteran who was no longer with us but truly was a member of the greatest generation Arthur art Joe billion who was known as jibby to his friends passed away eight years ago today his daughter Debbie was able to join us from Ohio but is watching for the livestream during World War 2 Jimmy was a navy radio operator who volunteered with the OSS and participated in the largest successful rescue mission of 513 downed Airmen behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia and mission codename operation halyard Jimmy stayed behind mission after mission during halyard until the last airman was rescued on December 27 1944 Jimmy and the other other veterans that served through the OSS have earned and deserve this recognition they truly did attempt the impossible and dare the unknown Congress in our nation are proud of you and we are grateful for your dedicated service this Congressional Gold Medal is one way that we can as a grateful nation say thank you ladies and gentlemen United States representative from the ninth District of Ohio the Honorable Marcy Kaptur good afternoon thank you distinguished guests service members as well as the families of the Office of Strategic Services who join us it is my deep honor to pay tribute with this Congressional Gold Medal to the valiant elite superior soldiers from all military branches who served in the clandestine OSS during World War two the 20th century's time of greatest testing today's long overdue recognition comes 71 years after their gut-wrenching sacrifices for us here in Liberty's home America finally honors these fine Patriots our family's beloved Uncle Tony Army corporal Anthony Rogowski of Toledo Ohio our mother's brother sir valiantly in the OSS from 1942 to 1945 awarded a Bronze Star never bragging he told stories of parachuting at night down to battle in foreboding jungle warfare in Burma technically he was classified as a driver describing the road conditions as pure hell and I read his words to be frank with you the roads are pure hell when it is dry you can't see 10 feet in front of you and when it rains you have a job on your hands keeping the truck on the road the roads are mostly rock and clay and brother when the rain falls it's going out on a steering wheel and a prayer I'm not kidding you a bit the highest mountain we climbed was fourteen thousand eight hundred feet and it was during the rain all in all we crossed about 25 mountain tops on our run we have to drive like hell to make a hundred miles one place we only make about ninety miles in ten hours and burn about 50 gallons of gas doing it so that gives you about a mile and a half to a gallon of gas on the whole run we average pretty close to two minutes to the gap two miles to the gallon our run is about two thousand eight hundred miles and most of the road is rough and we have about 300 miles of smooth road on the run on our last trip we had 10 trucks and broke 18 Springs on them I didn't break any of mine but it did have 12 flats his home Toledo dubbed Jeep City she'd be proud his Uncle Tony wrote in 1945 one thing that outlasts around anything around here is willys jeep they outrun all the other vehicles by a long run and boy can they take a beating like many others we still today do not exactly know where he and the other 12999 Americans served his letters back home were censored he simply wrote China atop his letters home it is likely he served building either the Burma or Ledo Road probably near the famous OSS detachment 101 their grit made possible the entry of Chinese and American forces to fight against Imperial Japan and like Tony many of these extraordinary Americans went unrecognized until today even when I inquired with the National Defense personnel center about Tony they stated the veteran is not in our files far too many of his OSS compatriots unknown to history paid the ultimate price for liberty others came back wounded many vets were haunted by memories from the battles in which they had been engaged Uncle Tony was stabbed in a foxhole by a Japanese infantryman he contracted malaria and suffered for years until his early death at age 57 may I ask his family who is here today his daughter Rosanna his granddaughter's Carrie and her husband John Adler their daughter and son Abby rose and Andrew and granddaughters Kelly and Kristen to stand there in the audience with us today as we le elevate these valiant warriors of the OSS into their deserving place in history may the envisioned OSS Museum allow for their full expression by our grateful nation today we officially imbue American history with fuller meaning this gold medal ceremony long overdue Awards our Patriots the nation's honor they have richly earned it has been written eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty and I would add truth and gratitude are our gifts to them onward America onward Liberty ladies and gentlemen United States Senator from Missouri the Honorable Roy Blount well I guess we shouldn't be surprised that a little weather wouldn't keep the veterans of the OSS away today or their family and their friends so many challenges met in so many wonderful ways it's great for us and an honor for us to be here with you to recognize what you did to remember what you did it was certainly a privilege for me to be able to be one of the co-sponsors of the Congressional Gold Medal along with my friend senator Warner and my out and my former House colleagues congressman Latta and congresswoman Kaptur you know it speak the OSS had about 13,000 people in late 1944 its founder Wild Bill Donovan who by the way will be celebrated in song as only Mark Russell could celebrate someone in song but while Bill Donovan said that the OSS personnel conducted some of the bravest acts of the war and when you think about what the OSS was asked to do what several of you were able to do the establishing an intelligence network behind enemy lines developing resistance and rescue efforts that save lives and frankly shortened the war mercy missions after the war to try to get to powa amps and access prisoner camps before anybody else got there to be sure that the right things happened as people were leaving those camps and leaving the prisoners that they had held in many cases for so long clearly the OSS the forerunner of the CIA four of the directors of the CIA were were members of the OSS Allen Dulles Richard Helms William Colby William Casey all learned what they practiced in such an effective way as members of the OSS other members Arthur Goldberg who served on the Supreme Court Arthur Schlesinger jr. the historian John Ford the filmmaker wouldn't want to leave out Julia Child the Julia Child as it turns out a unique part of the OSS history and William Clark will speak today and others who are here today to be honored vigilant in a dangerous world that area of vigilance that willingness to dare to do great things to defend Liberty was found nowhere better in the history of our country than the OSS and again what a privilege for us to be here to honor this institution and those people who served in it who are here today their families and their friends ladies and gentlemen United States Senator from Virginia the Honorable mark R Warner there's also an honor for me to join with my colleagues to honor the men and women who made up the OSS and as my friend Roy once said even if the federal government shut down and all the schools shut down today you guys are all still here think back I guess 75 76 years ago summer of 1942 when in many ways the fate of our country hung in balance the threat of Nazis the threat of the Japanese and an individual I would have loved to have met while Bill Donovan came with an idea to President Roosevelt about putting together a group of brave individuals they would serve in a non-conventional way to try to bring the war to an end those OSS volunteers volunteered to jump in when frankly America needed them and they answered the call without hesitation now sometimes hearing the stories of those veterans makes you realize that the Hollywood movies have nothing on what those men and women did during World War two I'd like to call out to from the Commonwealth of Virginia one was a veteran from Woodstock Virginia OSS pilot John Billings who volunteered for a risky nighttime mission defy a three-man OSS team deep into Nazi territory these in effect the folks that they were letting out or the real excuse my language inglourious basterds who parachuted into the Austrian Alps posing as German officers and then lieutenant Billings navigated his b-24 Liberator at a low altitude and was able to get those guys down and then get out safely another was Arthur Reinhardt also from Virginia who served as a radio operator photographer and part of a two-man secret team who served behind lines in China who's also here there are many people to thank but I want to particularly thank the OSS Society this act shouldn't have taken this long but your diligence your commitment and now the fact that the OSS veterans and their families and those who passed will be honored with the highest civilian on your honor the Congressional Gold Medal that day is finally arrived congratulations on your service and congratulations for all who helped make this happen thank you all very much ladies and gentlemen political humorist Mark Russell as you were how many here are from Buffalo I'm from Buffalo and I have a winter home there the winter home would but that's okay the best description of the OSS that I ever heard was that the OSS is a group of very dangerous senior citizens now when those dangerous senior citizens asks you to jump you just salute and say how high and that's why I am here you guys are the salt of the earth you OSS veteran you are the real deal I've overheard your conversation a little while ago right well in the old days we would have taken out Assad by now yes indeed and so I am here to honor a man from Buffalo and long before Tim Russert or Jack Kemp or me there was this man and I I've done nothing I was in the Marine Corps yes it was during the Korean War the Forgotten War I never forgot I was wounded in that war it was in Tijuana but I was wounded so I have nothing I have nothing to brag about here's a salute the man General William J Donovan he was known as Wild Bill and Irish lad from Buffalo with a mission to fulfill he won the medal of honor in the First World War but that was just a rehearsal for what would be in store he then became a lawyer that was back in the day we won't hold that against him no one's perfect as they say as war clouds gathered with all Europe in distress intelligence was needed so they form the OSS with the Office of Strategic Services the Allies would be saved and Wild Bill Donovan help what Hitler in his grave the OSS became the CIA to carry on the fight against the flak from the enemy Congressional oversize you can draw a line from Donovan to the CIA which led to the Navy SEALs and ibadah by justice sir bin Laden's dead there are unnamed stars on Langley's wall and shrined in secrecy and with Wild Bill Donovan they kept our country [Applause] ladies and gentlemen the Democratic leader of the United States House of Representatives the Honorable Nancy Pelosi friends and colleagues good afternoon mark Russell Wow wasn't that great wasn't that great thanks for putting me behind speaking order whoever did this let me begin by thanking my colleagues congresswoman Marcy captures congressman bob latta Senator Mark Warner senator roy blunt and senator angus King for their tireless effort to make today possible thank you and what an honor it is for all of us to join them in welcoming you under the leadership of our speaker speaker Ryan and our leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell we're pleased to welcome you thank you and especially thank Charles pink and William Clark um we'll be hearing from later as representative CP so many of you and your families who are here today we know that this gold medal ceremony is particularly meaningful for marcy kaptur whose uncle tony proudly served in the Office of Strategic Services Marcy thank you for sharing his words with us today it made it so special to the heroic veterans of the OSS thank you for your extraordinary service on behalf of the Allied cause we are so blessed by the honor of your presence here today as the longest-serving member of the Congressional Intelligence Committee I know very well but couldn't possibly know as well as you how great your contribution to the success of America and World War two and so my personal privilege to welcome you on behalf of many of my colleagues or many house colleagues and Senate colleagues who are here today and in intelligence and when were especially some years gone by force protection was the purpose many other things in order to scout to prevent our troops from getting in today to protect our troops so not only did you perform your own heroic duties you saved endless lives endless lives that makes us all so very proud I hope you take great satisfaction in the recognition that everyone knows what you did for too long the contributions of the Patriots of the USS has been shrouded in secrecy it's the nature of the business your heroism hidden from the public American public together today we gather an emancipation hall to shine a bright light on the exceptional valor and superior service of these men and women by bestowing the highest civilian honor the US Congress can give our nation extends our most humble gratitude to you our heroes we celebrate your vital role and bequeathing precious Liberty and preserving freedom for America and for the world and we ensure the sacrifices as we ensure the sacrifices that you made the dangers you endured the contribution that you made and the cost to your families for your heroism and your patriotism that will all be rightfully remembered and recorded in the pages of history during the darkness of World War 2 the men and women of the OSS fought bravely men and women fought bravely brilliantly and broadly across the world in Nazi Germany and on the beaches of Normandy and Yugoslavia the French North Africa and in Burma and Japan you aided the resistance raided enemies and rescued prisoners of war as a source of great pride that one full third of OSS Patriots were women including Virginia Hall one of the first civilian women to earn the Distinguished Service Cross Virginia of saboteur and spy helped train three battalions of French Resistance resistance forces mapped drop zones arranged saved houses and assisted prisoners of war and central France all with a prosthetic leg her exceptional energy ingenuity and courage were a testament to this truth that intrepid women our vital were vital to the Allied victory yet the legacy of Virginia Hall and other OSS service members had endured far beyond the war effort the intelligence networks and structures that they forged would lay the foundation for our post-war strength for decades to come when OSS director Bill Donovan passed away President Dwight Eisenhower was reported to have said we have lost our last hero imagine being called a hero by President Eisenhower imagine the bill Donovan Virginia Hall and the members of the OSS were not the last heroes they would inspire countless others to answer the call of service and sacrifice for freedom and liberty now the OSS heroism be a lesson to us all that a few determined men and women can change the course of history and you did just that OSS veterans for your brilliance bravery and exceptional daring we are very grateful and very honored to participate bestowing you the Congressional Gold Medal thank you for me for making us worthy to bestow that honor on you by your presence here today thank you ladies and gentlemen United States senator from Maine the Honorable angus King jr. some years ago I was invited to a ceremony in a small town in northern Maine honoring a young man from that town who had fallen in Somalia and received the Congressional Medal of Honor that ceremony like this one today started with the color guard and the national anthem and I listened to the national anthem that day in a way that I never had before I actually listened to the words and I noticed something and it turns out almost uniquely among national anthems and national songs across the world our national anthem ends with a question oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave or the land of the free and the home of the brave that's a question and that question has to be answered in each generation and I believe the answer to the question is contained in it the land of the free and the home of the brave as long as we are the home of the brave we will be the land of the free and that's the message of the last line of the national anthem I'm especially honored to be here today because a member of my family served in the OSS my wife's Uncle Bob Bob Saul Steen from Milwaukee Wisconsin his grandfather was an immigrant and the family was so delighted to be in America they named it Bob's father Benjamin Franklin solstein BF he was called and Bob solstein was in the OSS in Burma and we've already heard about the bravery and an entrepreneurialism if you will of OSS veterans around the world in the most dangerous missions he was in Burma ahead of the u.s. liberating troops dealing with Japanese pockets of resistance and they ended up recruiting something like 11,000 Kachin tribesmen in Burma and they became known as the Kachin Rangers this was OSS 101 Bob solstein all his life said that his work with the Kachin Rangers with OSS 101 in Burma was the most important work of his life and I would tend to agree because he was one of the brave that enabled us to remain the land of the free and I guess the easiest way to characterize it particularly realizing how few people were involved in the OSS 13,000 is the number i've been told 35 % of which by the way were women 35% were women 13,000 people and I think the words of Churchill about the RAF apply in this case rarely in human history have so many owed so much to so few so it's an honor for me to join my colleagues here today and recognize those of you who are here and those who aren't here like Uncle Bob for what you did for our country for what you did for your communities for what you did for all of us profound and sincere thanks ladies and gentlemen the majority leader of the United States Senate at the Honorable Mitch McConnell as we've been hearing today the ranks of the Office of Strategic Services included quite a cast of characters we've heard about Wild Bill Donovan the visionary leader intent on sowing the dragon's teeth and breeding chaos behind enemy lines there were celebrities like Marlena Dietrich and future celebrities like Julia Child all-star academics like Arthur Schlesinger I'm partial to the story of Moberg an Ivy Leaguer turned journeyman major league baseball catcher who gave up trying to hit curve balls and started throwing curve balls to the Nazis Moe parachuted into occupied Yugoslavia and he eavesdropped on German physicists the history of the OSS is packed with these kinds of dramatic exploits saboteurs like Colonel Frank Gleason slowed the Japanese advance across China demolishing hundreds of railways and bridges undercover operatives like Colonel Peter Ortiz stared down Nazi officers laying groundwork for the Allied invasion pilots like Captain John Billingsley low and slow through the Austrian Alps deploying agents behind enemy lines to hasten the war's end these exciting tales feel tailor-made for the history books or the silver screen and truly this heroism did indeed make history its impact can't be overstated President Eisenhower once said that even if the OSS had done nothing besides its intelligence gathering in advance of d-day the whole enterprise would still have been worth it just where did these fearless men and women come from the Office of Strategic Services hosted more than 24,000 personnel some were service members transferred from other units others volunteered after hearing this invitation broadcast over base loudspeakers here was the invitation wanted volunteers for immediate overseas assignment likelihood of a dangerous mission guaranteed still others were civilians who left at the chance to serve some spent the war deep in cloak-and-dagger operations others man radios are poured over research some would go on to post-war fame as statesmen and celebrities others returned to the richness of the ordinary American life they just fought to defend like Louisville Kentucky draftsman named Edward Becker or Boyd County Farm had named Wilson Barker but altogether they the men and women of the old SS are its greatest legacy that legacy gave us the CIA where brave Americans have continued risking everything to keep us safe and it helped lead to the Navy SEALs the Army Special Forces and the Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations commands quite a family tree but deeper than institutional history it is the spirit of these veterans that endures their pluck and patriotism prove that any American could rise to defeat the foes of freedom so it's our privilege to salute the OSS veterans present today and our duty to give thanks to those who have passed on how fortunate we are that these heroes answered the call ladies and gentlemen the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives the Honorable Paul D Ryan it is now time for the presentation of the medal a moment that I know so many of you have been working for for so long it's really incredible isn't it when you think about how high this takes work and how nothing like this had ever been tried before but Bill Donovan said go ahead and try it and it worked it worked brilliantly the OSS may seem like something out of the movies and yes as you have heard some of its members were but there are certain roles that only history can cast what else could have brought together such far-fetched ideas and so many far-flung people together what other enterprise would Julia Child have had in developing a recipe for shark repellent or Virginia Hall this is one of my favorites Virginia Hall who lost her leg before the war but still operated behind enemy lines and occupied France transmitting messages using a radio that looked like a suitcase or there's jumping Joe sovaldi he played for Knute Rockne a Notre Dame and jumbo Joseph Aldi was tasked with extracting secret Nazi documents from Rome for all the household names there are countless countless other names that we will never know all of these Patriots work to protect America and democracy itself they passed on a sense of duty and daring to today's intelligence professionals they preserved a spirit of freedom for our children and so for the men and women of the OSS those glorious amateurs who struck a decisive blow to fascism the United States Mint has struck a gold medal which we present now on behalf of a very grateful nation [Applause] [Applause] ladies and gentlemen president of the OSS Society Charles pink thank you thank you very very much I'm gonna reveal a secret today that's been kept since World War two what the initials OSS stand for oh so snowy I'd like to thank the congressional leadership the bill's sponsors and 393 co-sponsors for making this historic day possible and I want them all to know that you've made a lot of people extremely happy and nobody unhappy which in Washington doesn't happen that frequently so thank you very much no one would have been more pleased by this recognition of the OSS than its founder General William Donovan who is Senator blunt pointed out said Oh SS personnel performs some of the bravest acts of World War two and we're honored to have so many leaders from the Defense Intelligence and Special Operations communities here today to celebrate I'd like to thank the US Mint for designing a beautiful gold medal and the airmen of note and Mark Russell providing today's music it's important I think it's important to remind Americans in this historic occasion that general Donovan a conservative Republican and President Roosevelt a liberal Democrat formed a close relationship when they created the OSS to defend the United States from the greatest threat it and the world has ever faced they established the principle that our intelligence community must be a political and bipartisan which is just as important today as our nation faces myriad threats it's my honor to accept this medal on behalf of the men and women of the OSS including my father Dan Paine who served behind enemy lines in China at the final gathering of OSS personnel on September 28th 1945 general Donovan delivered the following speech men and women of OSS we have come to the end of an unusual experiment this experiment was to determine whether a group of Americans constituting a cross-section of racial origins of abilities temperaments and talents could meet in risk and encounter with the long-established and well trained enemy organizations how well that experiment has succeeded is measured by your accomplishments and by the recognition of your achievements you should feel deeply gratified by President Truman's expression of purpose of basing a coordinated intelligence service upon the techniques and resources that you have initiated and developed this could not have been done if you had not been willing to fuse yourselves into a team a team that was made up not only of the scholars and research experts into the active units and operations and intelligence who engaged the enemy in direct encounter but also of the great numbers of our organization who drove our motor vehicles carried or mail kept our records and documents and performed those other innumerable duties of administrative services without which no organization can't succeed and which because well done made our activities that much more effective when I speak of your achievements that does not mean that we did not make mistakes we were not afraid to make mistakes because we were not afraid to try things that had not been tried before all of us would like to think that we could have done a better job but all of you must know that whatever the errors are failures you've done an honest and self-respecting job but more than that because there existed in this organization a sense of solidarity you must also have the conviction that this agency in which you played it apart was an effective force within a few days each one of us will be going to new tasks whether in civilian life or in governmental work you can go with the assurance that you have made a beginning by showing the people of America that only by decisions of national policy based upon accurate information can we have the chance of a peace that will endure it's now my honor to introduce William Clark it was a veteran of the OSS and CIA during World War two we served in India and in say long with OSS detachment 404 well with CIA he was attached to the United States the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense's Joint Intelligence Bureau in London and he also served as a technical adviser to NATO's Coordinating Committee mr. Clark [Applause] members of Congress members of the OSS society and especially those veterans of the Office of Strategic Services that are here today you've heard different numbers of the total people that were in the OSS one was 24,000 I think senator Mitchell mentioned I've also heard 13,000 the most alarming figure I've heard is that there are only about 100 of us left so I salute the 20 or so of you who are here this afternoon [Applause] Calcutta India April 1945 I volunteer for what was described as a dangerous mission nothing else was said to me after some initial vetting in salon I learned I was in detachment 404 of the Office of Strategic Services headed for an airdrop into northern Thailand in addition to the usual weapons training we were schooled in the collection of intelligence with the target of Japanese troop movements the collection of intelligence was relatively new to me but of great interest and eventually led to my career in the Central Intelligence Agency fortunately for me the jumping out of an airplane was aborted by the Japanese surrender looking back looking back President Roosevelt's charging of general Donovan's to create an organization capable of gathering intelligence and waging unconventional warfare in enemy-held territories was a necessity for good strategic planning it's no surprise then that when the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted it provided for the collection of intelligence by a centralized agency the Central Intelligence Agency it is now the 75th anniversary of the OSS and our intelligence community has expanded exponentially as have the threats to our great country the time has come to commemorate those who have brought us to this point with the Museum of intelligence and Special Operations that endeavor is underway in the museum I hope that there will be a plaque explaining the singular characteristics demanded of those who walked the dangerous corridors of covert operations such an officer will ideally have a PhD and be able to home be able to hold his own in a bar fight I think it is now safe to admit that as a 19 year old high school graduate an Army PFC who didn't drink and was too small to win a bar fight that I may not have met these ideal standards owned by hey on behalf of my fellow officer well my fellow OSS veterans here today and those that couldn't make it we thank you for the honor bestowed on the Office of Strategic Services and we thank you for this gold medal the OSS spearhead continues to point the way forward thank you ladies and gentlemen please stand as a chaplain of the United States House of Representatives father Patrick Conroy gives the benediction let us pray the Lord our God we give you thanks for this day as we have remembered the men and women who served our nation and the hope of freedom for all of the world during World War two as founding members of the Office of Strategic Services the OSS organized trained supplied and fought in the war throughout Europe and Asia and played a decisive role in America's victory over Axis forces comprised of civilians and military branch personnel their missions resulted in some of the bravest acts of the war and forever changed the course of history may those who made the ultimate sacrifice those who edged out historic victories be assured of this nation's appreciation their pioneering methods of engaging the enemies of freedom and may their heroic example inspire patriotic Americans well into our future Lord bless all women and men in military service and other service to our country and their families god Bless America and grant us peace both in the present and with you forever amen

  • A pretty poor ceremony in my opinion. Where were the remaining 100 or so OSS members? Why weren't their names read (at least)? Better yet, why were they not part of this ceremony? Those that could should have been allowed to speak. These folks did a LOT more for America than most 'leaders' of today … Thank you OSS for your service !!!

  • Thank you to all those who served in the OSS for all you've done America and for the world. The debt we have to you can never be repaid.

  • Would have been nice to maybe show the men you were honoring while giving all those eloquent speeches!!!

  • My Grandfather was one of the members of the OSS who was honored today. He was the single greatest human being I've ever met and the world was a less place when he passed. I miss you and love you "Bud"! Thank you for everything!!

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