- Posted May 27, 2012 by
Medal of Honor recipient's mother to lay wreath in D.C.
By THEO KARANTSALIS
Pinned down by Vietnamese machine gun fire, a 19-year-old Marine stood and fired back. Then the enemy lobbed a hand grenade between him and his pals.
“Dying for freedom isn’t the worst thing that can happen,” said Georgie Carter-Krell, of Virginia Gardens. “Being forgotten is.”
The blue ribbon with five stars she wears on her lapel is a reminder of the day her son, Pfc. Bruce W. Carter, took the full force of a grenade under his belly to save his comrades. This heroic deed earned Carter a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor.
On Memorial Day, Carter-Krell plans to lay a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Washington, D.C., with Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos.
“Gen. Amos and I will lay the wreath together at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as President Obama watches,” said Carter-Krell said as she boarded a flight Monday morning in Philadelphia after attending “Heroes Day” at the Medal of Honor Grove at the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge. “It is a tremendous honor.”
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier honors the many soldiers who have died during war without being identified.
Carter –Krell plans to wear all white, symbolic of her group, American Gold Star Mothers, which provides support for mothers who have lost a son or daughter in military service. She refuses to wear black at memorial services because she says it represents “mourning” and “hurts morale.”
Last year, she was the City of Miami Spring’s keynote speaker on Veterans Day.
“As a Vietnam war veteran, I’m both impressed and feel honored that Ms. Georgie Carter-Krell, the mother of Bruce Wayne Carter, a fallen hero of ours who was awarded the Medal of Honor due to action in the Vietnam Nam war, should be honored in such a fashion,” said City Manager Ron Gorland, a major in the Army who earned seven medals, including a Bronze Star for Valor, during combat in Vietnam.
Gorland believes that veterans of all wars would feel the same way.
Last year, Gorland was given kudos by Carter-Krell and area veterans for rekindling a multicity Veterans Day memorial service, the first in about 10 years, which included veterans from her hometown, Virginia Gardens.
Virginia Gardens was one of the first to honor her son, Bruce, by designating a busy street after him. A few years later, the U.S. Government authorized the Miami VA Hospital to don his name.
“Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died serving our great country,” said Carter-Krell, who travels the U.S. to advocate for veterans.
“I want to send a message of pride and honor to all current and former servicemen.”
A HERO'S MOM: Georgie Carter-Krell, of Virginia Gardens, was the keynote speaker at the Veteran's Day observance last year in Miami Springs. (THEO KARANTSALIS/SPECIAL TO CNN)