A Delaware Medal of Honor recipient was recognized as Wilmington VAMC's first living memorial during an Earth Day ceremony held here April 22.
U.S. Army Sgt. William Nelson, a World War II Veteran killed in action by enemy fire became the first Delaware Medal of Honor recipient to have a tree dedication held on Wilmington VAMC grounds. Shaikh Tayeb, Wilmington VAMC's Green Environmental Management coordinator played a key role in organizing the event.
The ceremony took a few weeks to plan, it's the first tree naming tribute for a Delaware Medal of Honor Recipient at Wilmington VAMC," he said. "Since I was relatively new here and this was my first Earth Day project I suggested having a tree dedication."
Meanwhile, Paul Cathell, Delaware Medal of Honor Historical Association president and a former Marine service member received an invitation to participate in the event from the Medical Center's Voluntary Services Department.
"I received a phone call from Pat Caldwell, Chief of Voluntary Service about the idea, to dedicate a tree to a member of the Delaware Medal of Honor Historical Association," he said. "I thought it was a great idea and chose Sgt. Nelson to be the first candidate."
Caldwell said the Medical Center plans to continue the recognition of each of the brave heroes with a name plaque and living memorial.
"We would love to continue the tribute until each Delaware Medal of Honor Recipient is honored," she said. "So far there are plans to include other days such as the 4th of July and Veteran's Day but we are still in the planning stage."
Cathell agrees that in the future he would like all the members recognized and hopefully he would be around to see it happen. But until then he appreciated the efforts the staff made to honor Sgt. Nelson at their Earth Day tribute.
For more photos of the event, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WilmingtonVAMC.