Duluthian's Medal of Honor is Finally Home

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: May 29, 2019 06:51 PM

It's been a long journey to get a Medal of Honor back in the hometown of a Duluthian who bravely gave his life in World War II.

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It was a special day for Major Henry A. Courtney's family and the Duluth community to see the medal's installation at the Veteran's Memorial Hall at the Depot. A ceremony was hosted Wednesday in honor of the medal finally being in Duluth.

Major Henry Courtney served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He courageously gave his life on May 15, 1945, during the battle of Okinawa. The Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously in 1947. It's considered the nation's highest honor for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

A replica of the medal was installed last November at the Depot.

It was a long process to get the original version from Pennsylvania to Duluth, but Major Courtney's family members and the Veteran's Memorial Hall worked hard on making sure the Medal of Honor was in his hometown.

It's on loan from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

Family members at the ceremony said it's heartwarming to finally see the medal on display in Duluth.

"It's gratifying, it feels like a relief to finally have it back here under a loan agreement and this is where it'll stay hopefully for decades," Courtney Storey, Major Courtney's nephew, said.

Storey and other community members at the event spoke wonders of the person Major Courtney was, saying he was passionate about protecting his country and saving the life of his fellow marines.

Now that the medal is on display at the Veteran's Memorial Hall, people can see it up close and learn more about Major Courtney's story and his courageous actions.

"An exemplary man I mean he was really quite a guy. I'm as proud of the man he was as the fact that he was awarded the medal of honor. It's good that people can look into that and learn about the young man he was," Storey said.


Alejandra Palacios

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