Medal Of Honor

As a 19-year-old corporal, James L. Day repelled a Japanese advance on Sugar Loaf Hill while dragging four comrades to safety. As a general, he forbade fellow Marines from nominating him for any decoration. On Tuesday, he accepted the Medal of Honor from President Clinton without a word. “It is hard to know whether we should be conferring you a Medal of Honor for bravery or for modesty,” Clinton quipped to retired Major Gen. Day, 72. During the May 1945 battle for Sugar Loaf Hill in Okinawa, Day, then 19, fought alone from his foxhole and yielded no ground despite his own wounds. After two days and two nights of fighting, the enemy dead around his foxhole numbered more than 100.

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