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Posts tagged: Medal of Honor

Twelve win Idaho Medal of Honor, 10 peace officers and two firefighters

Two firefighters and a state trooper rescued two children trapped in an overturned car in Fernan Lake. A Jerome police officer risked his life to apprehend a suspect during a high-speed pursuit in Jerome, even after being shot in the eye. Two Lewiston police officers rescued a victim who was trapped in a burning apartment. All are among the 10 peace officers and two firefighters who are being awarded the Idaho Medal of Honor this year, which will be bestowed in a ceremony next Friday at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial in Meridian. “These twelve professionals have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their commitment to the service of others,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, chairman of the Idaho Medal of Honor Commission.

The medal was created in 2004 and the first honoree was slain Idaho State Trooper Linda Huff; click below for the full announcement, including the list of this year's 12 honorees and what they did.

Honoring Vernon Baker, World War II hero

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today offered this tribute on the passing of Idaho Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Vernon Baker of St. Maries: “Mr. Vernon Baker, an Idahoan, received the Congressional Medal of Honor 50 years after his honorable service in World War II.  He is the only living African-American to receive Congress’ highest honor.  Baker is a true war hero and he will remain a legend and testament of determination and steadfastness in the face of unspeakable discrimination and extreme obstacles.  I join all Idahoans in mourning his passing but honoring his achievements.”

Gov. Butch Otter issued this statement: “Vernon Baker was the embodiment of what it means to be a patriot – someone whose courage, commitment and sacrifice made him a role model and an icon for a generation of Americans. I was proud to know him and proud to call him an Idahoan. Vernon was a humble man, but he was among the greatest of the Greatest Generation. It’s too bad it took the government so long to recognize and acknowledge that.”

Sen. Jim Risch issued this statement:  “I am saddened by the passing of Vernon Baker, a Medal of Honor recipient who lived in St. Maries, Idaho.  I had the honor of meeting with Vern during my tenure as governor and appointing him to the Idaho Commission on Human Rights, where he faithfully served. Vern epitomized what has been called the ‘greatest generation’ and selflessly served this nation at a time when he was not welcome in all places.  He loved his country and was deserving of all the honors bestowed upon him for his outstanding service and sacrifice.  For nearly 25 years, Vern Baker chose to call Idaho his home, and now we salute him one last time for his selfless courage and grace.”

Baker was the only living black World War II veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest commendation for battlefield valor. He died at age 90 after a long battle with cancer. You can read more here at spokesman.com.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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