Sergeant First Class Smith
On Monday, April 4th, 2005 at 3pm in the afternoon, President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Honor (posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, B Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Army.
Accepting this award was Paul's 11 year old son David, his daughter Jessica, and his wife Birgit. You can read about the Medal of Honor, about Sergeant Smith, and his and his soldiers' actions that day, at the Army's Official website.
I had the distinct honor of being invited by the family to bear witness to the ceremonies in Washington DC this past week. Here are some photos I took over the past few days.
I'd like to thank the Smith family for allowing me to be there for such a momentous and solemn occasion. It was truly my honor just to stand in the same room as these people. After the reception at the White House, Paul's sister Lisa asked me how it felt to be there. Only one word came to mind. Small. I felt very, very, small.
And my thanks to Sergeant First Class Smith, for making the ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of his soldiers and his fellow Americans.