​Almanac: The conscientious objector

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: October 12th, 1945, 69 years ago today . . . the day of an awards ceremony like no other.

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Cpl. Desmond Doss. U.S. Army

President Harry Truman personally handed out the medals to those heroes of World War II . . . each with an inspiring story to tell

But of particular interest that day was Corporal Desmond Doss, of Lynchburg, Va.

Corporal Doss was a Seventh Day Adventist and a conscientious objector . . . the first objector ever to receive the Congressional Medal.

During the two-and-a-half-month long battle of Okinawa earlier that year, Doss had been serving his country as an unarmed medic.

On just one day, the citation noted, Doss carried 75 wounded men to safety, one by one, all while braving enemy fire with no means of shooting back.

"I thank God for letting me do my part in this war and saving the lives of my fellow men," Doss said.

Desmond Doss suffered serious wounds of his own during that very long battle, and devoted much of the rest of his life to his church.

During the Vietnam War, the Seventh Day Adventists trained conscientious objectors to become medics at a camp in Michigan named for Desmond Doss.

He died in 2006 at the age of 87 . . . 61 years after giving the gift of life to so many.


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