Medal of Honor Ceremony for Garlin Murl Conner is next week

Posted June 20, 2018 at 8:58 am

Clinton County’s World War II hero, Garlin Murl Conner, will be posthumously awarded the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, in a ceremony next week in Washington, D.C.

Conner died in Albany, in November, 1998 at age 79.

Conner’s widow, Pauline Conner, will travel to the nation’s capitol where she will accept the medal her late husband earned for his acts of heroism while fighting in France in 1945.

President Donald Trump will award the medal to Conner during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, June 26.

During a brief telephone interview with the Clinton County News on Monday afternoon, Pauline Conner said as the day of leaving for the nation’s capitol drew closer, she was getting more and more excited about making the trip and accepting the honor her late husband deserved.

“I’m really getting more and more excited,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot of time the past few days on the telephone with the White House – in fact, just before you called I was talking to them again.”

Conner said she has spent more and more time during the past weeks with White House staff, shoring up plans for the upcoming Medal of Honor ceremony.

While the ceremony itself is expected to be relatively brief – likely less than an hour, the entire experience for Pauline Conner and those who are accompanying her to Washington, will be an in-depth and highly detailed excursion that will last for several days.

According to information that has been provided to the Clinton County News, the trip for Pauline Conner will begin on Sunday when she is escorted by Pentagon officials from Albany to Washington D.C., and includes a full itinerary of events including tours, meetings, banquets and other receptions.

The complete schedule of events that are centered around the awarding of the Medal of Honor for Conner continue through Thursday, making the trip possibly a six day experience with a return home to Albany on Friday.

Pauline Conner will be accompanied on the trip by a host of family members and friends that she has invited, all of which have already undergone security clearing procedures by the FBI and Secret Service.

A list of those who will make the trip and are included to attend the awarding ceremony and other scheduled events was not released to the public.

“I will go up on Sunday, and will meet the press on Monday, the ceremony is on Tuesday and on Wednesday, a ceremony will be at the Pentagon,” Conner continued. “On Thursday, we hope they can set up a tour of Arlington and we can go and pay our respects to General Ramsey.”

At press time, the Clinton County News has been told that the scheduled time for the actual ceremony that will see Pauline Conner accepting the Medal of Honor from President Trump next Tuesday has been scheduled to occur at 2:30 p.m. central time.

However, officials in Washington have noted that the actual time of the ceremony could be changed to either an earlier or later time than the scheduled 2:30 p.m. time slot, although that date for the ceremony, Tuesday, June 26, would remain firm.

During the trip next week, those attending will be offered several event invitations surrounding the Medal of Honor ceremony.

Among those special events that will be attended by Conner, her family and others traveling to Washington for the occurrence will be a reception hosted by the U.S. Army on Monday, a ceremony on Wednesday at the Pentagon and some planned congressional banquets and engagements on Thursday.

During the Pentagon ceremony on Wednesday, a plaque that honors Lt. Garlin Murl Conner in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes will be unveiled.

That plaque honoring Lt. Conner will be placed in the Hall of Heroes alongside the plaques of more than 3,460 recipients of the Medal of Honor from all of the wars and conflicts the United States has been involved in since the Civil War.

At press time, the Pentagon had released a likely time of 1:00 p.m. Central for the Hall of Heroes ceremony.

Pauline Conner and many of her family and guests are also planning on visiting Arlington National Cemetery where they will witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Also while at Arlington Cemetery, they are planning on visiting the graves of and paying respects to Maj. General Lloyd B. Ramsey and his wife.

General Ramsey, then Col. Ramsey, was Lt. Conner’s commanding officer during the unit’s wartime battles overseas, and recommended him for the Medal of Honor.

Ramsey, who was from Somerset, Kentucky, died in 2016 at the age of 97 in Roanoke, Virginia, where he had made his home following a 34 year military career.

In his memoirs, Ramsey wrote that he had “never seen a man with as much courage” as Conner had, adding that his actions in January, 1945 should have certainly seen him awarded the Medal of Honor.

For those who are not able to personally attend next week’s ceremony in Washington, D.C., watching the event will be an easy task with several possible outlets broadcasting the entire ceremony and events leading up to the actual awarding of the medal to Pauline Conner.

In addition, the ceremony can also be viewed on a computer, cell phone or tablet as long as Internet service is accessible on the device.

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The link that has been provided for viewing the ceremony on an Internet enabled device is:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/

That official White House site is used for most of the live streamed events held there, and is a YouTube based streaming site.

For those who are somewhat computer challenged, the task of watching a live streamed event is relatively easy.

The main objective is making sure your location has a good, high speed wi-fi service available, or you can have a good high-speed cellular service at your location to be able to log on to that site without having to buffer the signal repeatedly.

In making the official announcement of the decision to award the nation’s highest military medal to Conner, which is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and selfless service, the White House offered the following description of the actions during World War II that have eventually led up to next week’s ceremony.

“Conner’s valorous actions occurred Jan. 24, 1945, while serving as an intelligence officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division.

“Conner voluntarily left his position of relative safety to place himself in a better position to direct artillery fire onto the assaulting enemy infantry and armor, according to the announcement.

“For three hours he remained in an exposed and dangerous position 30 yards ahead of the defending force, directing artillery fire, despite the enemy closing within five yards of his position. His actions, according to the announcement, repelled the enemy forces.

After enlisting in the Army March 1, 1941, Conner was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, for training.

He then deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division to the North African theater of operations on Oct. 23, 1942 and was part of the amphibious assault on Fedala, French Morocco, Nov. 8, 1942. He continued combat operations throughout North Africa, prior to landing on Sicily, and subsequently the Italian mainland during the push into Europe.

On June 26, 1944, he received a battlefield commission as an infantry officer after attaining the rank of technical sergeant and having served as a platoon sergeant.

As a lieutenant, he served as a commander and intelligence staff officer with the same unit he was with during his valorous actions that led to his nomination to receive the Medal of Honor.

Conner was discharged from the Army on June 22, 1945, shortly after Victory in Europe Day, May 8.

The NEWS hopes to provide a detailed account of next week’s ceremony in its July 5 edition, including a detailed summary of the actions of Lt. Garlin Conner that eventually resulted in the awarding of the Medal of Honor.

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