MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- It’s the most prestigious award an American can receive: The Congressional Medal of Honor. Just over 3,500 have been given the honor; and one of those heroes was in the Lowcountry on Thursday.
The celebration was set for 3:25 P.M. on 3/25/21 in honor of the 1st Congressional Medal of Honor which was awarded on March 25th, 1863.
Amid the pomp and circumstance, Major General James Livingston steps to the podium to recognize his fellow South Carolinian Medal of Honor recipients.
“Service and sacrifice are acknowledged by those who serve and sacrifice,” he says.
Every recipient has their own extraordinary story of heroism. Major General Livingston’s story began during the Vietnam War in the Battle of Dai Do.
“During that battle, 100 marines were killed 297 were medivacked, and pretty well the rest of the battalion was wounded,” he says.
Despite being injured 3 times, his unwavering bravery helped to save multiple lives that day. Major General Livingston was honored with the Medal of Honor by President Richard Nixon in 1970.
Today, the hero claims he’s “Just a guy who happened to be singled out as the Commanding Officer of Echo Company 2nd Battalion in the Battle of Dai Do.”
Major General Livingston continues to give credit to the brave individuals who fought alongside him, those who lost their lives, and the countless acts of heroism that have helped to shape America into the country it is today.
“That’s what they give this country. That’s what it’s all about. That’s the reason we’re great,” he says.
His patriotism has remained strong through his retirement from the armed forces in 1995. Major General Livingston now has a passion for passing on his love for this country to the younger generation of Americans.
“We need to make sure young kids in South Carolina understand the contributions and recognize it and want to continue it,” he says.
Major General Livingston is one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point. He says the facility is being designed to have plenty of space for classrooms and educational field trips.
“Get them over here – let them see the Yorktown, let them see the Medal of Honor Museum. Let them come be a part of their history,” he says.
The Medal of Honor Museum is slated to finish construction in Spring of 2024. Maj. General Livingston has been invited to cut the opening ribbon.