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Continuing our Memorial Day 2005 salute to the fallen. In a fitting epilogue to this story, one month after the presentation of the Medal of Honor Paul Smith's widow Birgit became a US citizen:
...Wednesday, with her heart bursting with pride and sorrow, Smith took the oath of citizenship and then led 290 of her new fellow Americans in the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a poignant moment for the mother of two who said she was so moved by Americans' reaction to the death of her husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, she wanted to join them in citizenship.
This Interactive Special Report is a must-visit.
Several more videos here including the scene of the battle, interviews with those who were there, and members of SFC Smith's family.
Coverage of the ceremony from the St. Petersburg Times:
Seated in the third row, behind the military dignitaries and politicians, Spc. Michael Seaman smiled broadly when President Bush used him as an example of how hard Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith worked his men.
"Sgt. Smith's seriousness wasn't always appreciated by the greener troops under his direction," Bush said Monday at the White House. "Those greener troops oftentimes found themselves doing tasks over and over until they got it right."
But Seaman's expression turned somber as the president continued.
"Spc. Seaman," Bush said, "will also tell you that he and others are alive today because of Sgt. Smith's discipline."
Exactly two years ago Monday, Seaman, 23, was in a dusty courtyard outside Baghdad, inside an armored personnel carrier. Smith, a 33-year-old who grew up in Tampa, stood in a hatch, firing a .50-caliber machine gun to hold off a large force of Iraqi soldiers.
"Keep me loaded," Smith told Seaman.
(Original post 2005-04-05 15:33:26)