I was moved to read the story of Bombardier Robert Key, killed in France in 1944. The Daily Mail reports:
The incident happened on September 5, 1944, the day after Liberation Day in the small town of Annezin, 50 miles south of Calais.
The bombardier, who was on patrol on his own, rushed over and grabbed the grenade from a child who had picked it up and pulled out the pin.
As he cradled the device in his jacket and rushed away, it exploded, killing him instantly.
The military inquiry accused him of 'showing off' after discovering locals had signalled using hand gestures that somebody was playing with the grenade.
But his family have been told by locals that the Army apparently failed to properly translate the accounts of townsfolk.
. . .
Mayor Daniel Delomez traced Mrs Mills to invite the family to the naming of a new road in a housing estate built on the field where the bombardier died.
He said he wanted to revive the memory of the soldier to allow local children to understand the 'horror and heroism' of war.
He added: 'He (Key) was a brave hero who saved the lives of several children without thought for his own safety.'
. . .
The [Ministry of Defense] would not comment on the initial inquiry and said last night it was unable to change an individual's service record.
But a spokesman added: 'If Mr Key's family write to us asking for a permanent letter to be put in his file, recognising what he did, we can do that.'
There's more at the link.
The Ministry's comment infuriates me. Who do these bloody bureaucrats think they are? Soldiers have been awarded the Medal of Honor, or the British Victoria Cross, or equivalent medals, for hurling themselves onto hand-grenades to save the lives of their comrades at the cost of their own. It seems to me that Bombardier Key's courage was of a similar order. If he's not eligible for the Victoria Cross, why isn't he being awarded the next-highest medal for valor in action? If anyone earned it, he surely did!
I hope someone in the British government will see to it that justice is done to Bombardier Key's memory. Meanwhile, I invite those of you who share my faith in the Resurrection to pray for his soul, that God may reward his courage in Heaven, even as it was officially disregarded on earth.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13)
" . . .Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40).