Medal Of Honor Recipient Recognized
by Betsy Jibben, Reporter
June 13, 2013 7:00 PM
The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest military decoration. That’s why an artist out of Menno dedicated a mural honoring the recipients of the Medal of Honor.
He’s hoping to have all medal Recipients that are still living sign the car. The first signature happened to be from the only living Medal Of Honor Recipient in Sioux Falls.
South Dakota native Michael Fitzmaurice has been through what some could never imagine.
“I guess you don’t just do that for your friends, I never figured on surviving it,” said Fitzmaurice.
Serving in the Army in 1970, Fitzmaurice was stationed in Vietnam for 10 months before he was injured. Three grenades were thrown in his bunker. While trying to shield his friends and fellow soldiers, he threw two out and covered the third with his flak vest. Although he was injured, he continued to fight.
Yet, he continues to remain humble.
“I’m pretty low key. I’m getting recognition that other people should probably be getting,” said Fitzmaurice.
Now at the age of 63, he is being honored again for his efforts. Menno artist Mickey Harris painted a mural recognizing all living Medal of Honor men and women who possessed such character. Fitzmaurice was the first to leave his mark.
“All of them just have this courage that is just so insane,” said artist Mickey Harris.
It took only weeks to paint, detailed with reflecting stars, eagles and soldiers. It’s honoring heroes from the past and present.
“Those who survive all seem to think everybody would do that. Well, not everyone would do the things that he did,” said Harris.
After the car is finished, it will be brought to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in hopes a Medal of Honor reunion will be coordinated so all 79 signatures can be on the car.