Honoring the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day

America – the land of the free and the home of the brave – has come at a great cost.

This Memorial Day, the Spirit of America team and I remember all those who have given their lives to protect the promise of a free and better life. The life that we enjoy today was made possible by the sacrifices of these men and women. Here is one of their stories.

Freddie Stowers was an Army corporal serving in World War I. On September 28, 1918, his company was ordered to assault a German position in the Ardennes region of France. Though heavily defended by the Germans, the American forces advanced, and the Germans communicated their surrender. That surrender was a trap. As our troops drew near, half were killed by German heavy artillery. The lieutenant commanding Corporal Stowers’ platoon went down, followed by other officers.

Stowers was now in command. He led his men and took the first German trench line, then he led a charge against another line of trenches. During the second advance, Stowers was shot twice. Although mortally wounded, he pressed forward encouraging his men to keep going. And they did, successfully driving out the Germans and taking the hill. Freddie Stowers died that day.

Freddie Stowers was an Army corporal serving in an American unit under French control during World War I.

Over 70 years later, Corporal Stowers’ bravery was discovered by an Army study, and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President George H.W. Bush for his heroic actions and supreme devotion to his fellow soldiers.

Cpl. Stowers’ sisters, Georgina Palmer and Mary Bowens, with Barbara Bush and President George H.W. Bush at the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony.

Photo by Robert Ward, Department of Defense Public Affairs

Spirit of America helps those who serve our nation return home safe and proud of their success. There are, however, a number of organizations that support the loved ones left behind by the fallen. I encourage you to learn more about, and consider supporting, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Semper Fi and America’s Fund, Third Option Foundation, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Jim founded Spirit of America in response to the attacks of 9/11. Prior to Spirit of America Jim was an entrepreneur. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an honorary member of the US Army Civil Affairs Regiment, and a contributing author to "Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military."
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3033 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22201

Follow Us

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

“You don't have to wear a uniform to serve the nation.™” and “Patriotism without politics.™” are trademarked by Spirit of America.

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