In the last century-and-a-half, 3,507 members of the U.S. Armed Forces have received the National Medal of Honor. Of those, the number of Black recipients is just 92.
The disparity is troubling, and raises the question of not whether, but when Black service members have been unjustly denied recognition for valor in combat. The numbers of Asian, Hispanic, Native American and Jewish recipients are likewise extremely low.
Our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients represent the best the United States has to offer. The medal, the highest honor a member of the U.S. Armed Forces can receive for valor, was first introduced in 1861 and is given by the president in the name of Congress. The stories of recipients like Alvin C. York and Audie Murphy testify to individuals who risked everything and sometimes made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country and values. But not every story has been told, and credit has not always been shared fairly.