June 26 (UPI) — President Donald Trump awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor Tuesday to a Kentucky World War II veteran’s widow.
Trump presented the medal to Pauline Conner, the widow of Army First Lt. Garlin M. Conner, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
“Murl embodied the pure, patriotic love that builds and sustains a nation,” Trump said.
Garlin Conner was a member of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment and spent 28 months of the front lines of various campaigns in the war. He was injured seven times and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Stars, the French Croix de Guerre, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his service.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a battle on Jan. 24, 1945, when he volunteered to run to the front lines as a spotter, the Department of Defense said. Running telephone line to provide communication with the infantry, he hid in a shallow ditch and directed U.S. troops to fire on German infantry mere yards from his position.
“Lieutenant Garlin Murl Conner was indeed a giant. In his daring, his devotion, and his duty, he was larger than life,” Trump said. “He will never, ever be forgotten. We will never forget his story.”
Historian Erik Villard of the Center for Military History said in a press briefing Monday that Conner put his life on the line to guide U.S. soldiers against a force of 600 German troops attempting to advance on the Americans.
Trump added that Lloyd Ramsey, Conner’s commanding officer, said he’d “never seen a man with as much courage and ability as he had.”
Conner died 20 years ago at the age of 79.
His son, Paul Conner, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren also attended the ceremony as Trump presented the medal to Pauline Conner.
“Together, they lived, loved, and thrived through 53 years of an incredibly great marriage,” Trump said of the couple.