Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in the News | Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours

Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in the News

Ghost Army Gold Medal ceremonyThe Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony was held for the Ghost Army on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the U.S. Capitol. The award was long-overdue recognition of the dangerous and heroic exploits of this top secret unit, which is credited with saving thousands of lives during World War II. 

Three Ghost Army veterans came to the U.S. Capitol to accept the award: 100-year-old Bernard Bluestein, 99-year-old John Christman and 100-year-old Seymour Nussenbaum. Also in attendance were military and congressional leaders, families of the Ghost Army members and both democratic and republican politicians.

As Senator Edward Markey, who along with Senator Susan Collins sponsored the bill in the Senate, said at the ceremony, “Their weapons were unconventional, but their patriotism was unquestionable.”

Rick Beyer, who leads the Ghost Army Tour, worked tirelessly for seven years as the President of the Ghost Army Legacy Project to make sure the top secret 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and the 3133rd Signal Company Special units received the Congressional Gold Medal. 

Rick organized two days of events to celebrate the occasion, including a screening of The Ghost Army, the award-winning documentary which he produced and directed, and a visit to the U.S. Army Art Collection to view Ghost Army art. 500 people come to Washington, D.C. for the event. The highlight, of course, was the actual Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony, which as Rick recounts was very emotional. (If you were not able to attend, please check out the extensive news coverage of the ceremony below.)

“I took this picture [above] in the holding room a few minutes before the ceremony began. The three Ghost Army veterans are seated. l-r, John Christman, Bernie Bluestein, and Seymour Nussenbaum. Kneeling, and giving them their undivided attention, are General Charles Brown, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; Christine Wormuth, Secretary of the Army; and General Randy George, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. This person-to-person recognition of the Ghost Army soldiers was one of the most powerful parts of the day for me. The story of the Ghost Army is not, as I said in the Capitol, ‘trapped in the past – it remains an important inspiration to the U.S. Army today.’ And you can see that in this poignant moment from an amazing day.”

Bravo, Rick, for working tirelessly to make sure these deserving, brave and intrepid warriors of deception received this high honor!

Click here to see more photos of the Gold Medal Ceremony >

News Coverage of the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony

ABC News

‘Ghost Army’ soldiers awarded Congressional Gold Medal for little-known heroism in WWII

Read at ABC News >

Associated Press

Ghost Army members who deceived Nazis with battlefield ruses in WWII given Congressional Gold Medal

Read at AP >

CBS News

Members of WWII “Ghost Army” receive Congressional Gold Medals

Read at CBS News >

National Public Radio

After decades of secrecy, the ‘Ghost Army’ is honored for saving U.S. lives in WWII

Read at NPR >

The New York Times

At Long Last, a Gold Medal for America’s World War II ‘Ghost Army’

Read at The New York Times >

USA Today

Veterans of top-secret WWII Ghost Army unit awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Read at USA Today >

 

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