Stephen T. Johns was assassinated in the line of duty on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.
I know, the word assassinated is usually reserved for public figures killed by bad & mad men because of ideological differences. Stephen was a black man working as a security guard for the national holocaust museum. His killer, a mad man & a bad man, was filled with hatred for all things racist. There is no greater ideological difference.
As of right now, there are 9,258 google news articles related to this tragedy. Three memorial funds are being set up in Stephen’s honor.
Stephen’s singular act of dedication and courage also deserves additional, albeit sadly, posthumous acolades.
1. The Presidential Medal of Freedom, “It is designed to recognize individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” ”
2. The Congressional Gold Medal, “awarded to an individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.”
3. The Purple Heart. This one may be more difficult to justify since the core eligibility is restricted to military personnel. However, its purpose is to “Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces” James W. Von Brunn was an enemy of the United States.
Mr. Johns, you are a hero that we never knew, or would have known if this travesty against humanity had not occured. Your selfless act is deserves the accolades of this grateful nation.
I will be forwarding this message to the White House and all members of Maine’s Congressional Delegation for their consideration.