CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A new plaque was unveiled on Veterans Day to honor Cumberland County’s Medal of Honor recipients.
Chas Finkenbinder waded through the crowd to find a special name on the new memorial.
“Randall D. Shughart, my cousin,” he said.
Shughart, a sniper in the Army’s elite Delta Force, was killed while protecting a wounded pilot in Somalia in 1993. For that, he received the highest military award: the Medal of Honor.
“Anybody that did what he did would deserve it. He was that kind of soldier,” Finkenbinder said.
Seventeen-year-old Matthew Kunkle learned about Shughart and all 10 men in Cumberland County to receive the Medal of Honor during a class at the historical society.
“Learning about the men and how heroic and the standards the military holds these guys to, it’s inspirational to see,” Kunkle said.
Kunkle was inspired for his Eagle Scout project to raise $22,000 in the community for a memorial honoring these men who went above and beyond their duty.
“One of the stories was about Jay Ziemer, and he was a pilot in the Pacific, and he flew a mapping mission over the island,” Kunkle said. “His plane had over 150 bullet holes and he had two broken legs at the end, and that story is just amazing.”
“It’s very gratifying to see people like him, who understand how great this nation is,” said Neal Delisanti, the director of Veterans Affairs in Cumberland County.
It was a shift from Cumberland County’s annual Veterans Day service to honor the lasting memory of 10 inspirational men and the teen they inspired.
The memorial is permanently on display in the courtyard outside the Cumberland County Courthouse.