Israeli Medal of Honor- Veteran's Day November 11, 2005
In a special ceremony on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2005, five veterans of General Patton's Third Army in WWII were awarded a medal and certificate of the commendation by the Israeli government in New York City at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust. This is the first time any American WWII veteran has been awarded a medal of this type by the Israeli government. The Anniversary medals in remembrance of victory in Germany have been awarded in the past only to Jewish fighters against the Nazis.
The medals were awarded to four veterans of the 65th Infantry Division and one veteran of the 71st Division. The veterans of the 65th Infantry Division were Ray Callanan (Co. G, 260th), Maynard Hanson (565th Signal Co.), Lynn LaBarre (Deceased- Co. A, 265th Eng. Bn.) and Robert Patton (Hq. 2nd Bn. 261st). The veteran from the 71st Infantry Division was Mickey Dorsey (Calvary Recon Troop).
In early May 2005, these veterans retraced the route taken by their divisions 60 years ago, in WWII. While they were in the Passau, Germany area they attended the first public Jewish Sabbath service ever held in the history of the city. This was the early childhood home of Adolph Hitler. In nearby Pocking, Germany, they participated in the dedication of a new monument at the Children's Cemetery where the deceased children of inmates in the nearby concentration camps were buried. They were also present for the commemoration event at the Shoah Memorial and Tolerance Event in Passau.
Miriam Griver-Meisels, President of Hadassah Israel, was also present at these ceremonies. Her father, Rabbi Meisels, had been liberated 60 years ago from one of the concentration camp in the area by units of the 65th and 71st Infantry Divisions. She was so moved by meeting these American GI's who had returned to the area 60 years later, that she returned to Israel and asked the government to honor these soldiers for their participation in fighting against the Nazis in WWII while commemorating the memory of the Jewish resistance in the war against the Nazis. Her request as approved by the Israeli Minister of Defense, Shaul Mofaz. As there was not an Israeli Embassy in New York, Ms. Griver-Meisels delivered the medals personally to the museum.
The medals and certificates of the commendation were presented to the veterans on November 11, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage by Amir Ofek, Consul for Public Affairs from the Israeli Consulate. In attendance at the ceremony were several surviving inmates of the concentration camps in Germany and Austria.
Through the years following WWII, there have been many memorials and honors erected in respect to the great service that the men of the 65th Infantry Division gave.
These are the ones known to us. Please share others you may discover so that we can honor them here.
The Halbert and Red Circle Memorial Library
Lt Col Brian McNerney partners with WWII Veterans to from The Halbert and Red Circle Memorial Library at LSA (Logistical Support Area) Anaconda in Iraq.
When Bob Patton and Mickey Dorsey met Lt. Col. Brian McNerney in Germany during the 65th Division's Anniversary Tour, they told him to let them know if there was anything they could do for the troops. In December 2005, when the Lt. Colonel realized there were only 50 books for the nearly 30,000 serving at LSA Anaconda, he called on his friends to help.
Patterned after an American library started by some G.I.'s in Passau, Germany after WWII, and named in honor of the 65th and 71st Divisions, THE HALBERT AND RED CIRCLE MEMORIAL LIBRARY now offers the troops a wealth of reading materials.
Articles about THE HALBERT AND RED CIRCLE MEMORIAL LIBRARY:
L.A. Times WRAL American Libraries 3rd COSCOM Dawn.com