And, what better way to do that then to tell of one person's sacrifice--that of USMC Corporal Lewis Bausell on Peleliu Island, September 1944.
He is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor:
...Valiantly placing himself at the head of his squad, Cpl. Bausell led the charge forward against a hostile pillbox which was covering a vital sector of the beach and, as the first to reach the emplacement, immediately started firing his automatic into the aperture while the remainder of his men closed in on the enemy.
Swift to act, as a Japanese grenade was hurled into their midst, Cpl. Bausell threw himself on the deadly weapon, taking the full blast of the explosion and sacrificing his own life to save his men.
His unwavering loyalty and inspiring courage reflect the highest credit upon Cpl. Bausell and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
A belated thank you in memory of Cpl. Bausell* and the so many others who gave all to protect the freedoms that I often take for granted.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13
*Note: Born in Pulaski, Virginia, Cpl. Bausell is the only enlisted Medal of Honor recipient from Washington D.C. He died at age 20, and was buried at sea.
If you are interested in reading other Congressional Medal of Honor stories, you can go here.