Immigrants have made a valuable contribution to the history of the United States, whether in business, science or in the military. The Medal of Honor is the highest military award given by the United States government and many immigrants have won it.
Their actions were praised recently in an article in Immigration Daily.
Immigrants have often faced prejudice to defend the country that opened its doors to welcome them.
The Cato Institute noted how about one in five of all recipients of the Medal of Honor were immigrants born outside the United States.
The heroes include Laszlo Rabel the leader of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment who lost his life during the Vietnam War. He came to America from his native Hungary and entered the service in Minnesota. The staff sergeant’s team came under attack in Vietnam and a grenade landed in the middle of the team. Rabel threw himself on it, using his body to shield his team from injury and death. He lost his life but saved those of his fellow soldiers.
Another recipient was Marcario Garcia, a 24-year-old Mexican national whose heroics in the World War Two earned him the medal. When his company was pinned down by heavy machine gun fire from German troops, he refused to be evacuated.
He crawled forward toward enemy lines and hurled hand grenades into the German emplacement. His actions destroyed the gun. He later stormed another enemy gun emplacement, killed three German soldiers, and captured four others, thus helping save his company.
March 25 is set aside as National Medal of Honor Day to pay tribute to the recipients of our America’s highest award for valor.
On its website U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services highlights about 30 facilities that are named after immigrant recipients of the Medal of Honor. The Dallas field office in Texas is named after Army Air Force Sergeant Archibald Mathies, who was born in Scotland and died in an air crash in World War Two.
Immigration became a controversial issue during the presidential election campaign of 2016. The list of those who honorably served their country is a powerful example of how immigrants make a positive contribution.