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A Hero Who Now Belongs to the Nation

May 13, 2008

In a driving downpour, with wind gusts up to 60 mph, 8 motorcycles, 65 private vehicles and a 54 passenger bus departed suburban Pennsylvania to transit a true American hero home to Arlington . Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz, Medal of Honor recipient, was escorted by three hundred of us. There were a couple minor glitches. Two members of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club went down at 50 mph, but were only banged up and bruised. One of them even got back on the bike and finished the ride. At another point 5 vehicles and the bus were separated from the pack by inconsiderate drivers who cut in on the funeral procession. Everyone made it to the grave site in time though.

The Old Guard did their normal stellar job and Mike now belongs to the entire nation, as is fitting. Kudos to the PA and MD State Troopers and the Special Events section for DC Metro. They did an above average job of shepherding a truly unwieldy convoy across bust highways in the most inclement of weather. I was afforded the honor of safe guarding Mike’s Medal of Honor all day. I literally carried it on my shoulder in a leather bag for about six hours. Just having it in my possession made me feel like… well, I’m not sure I can fully explain what it felt like, but you get the idea. It was, without a doubt, the highest honor I have ever been afforded.

Finally, in a day replete with awesome experiences, special praise must go out to Inspector Tony Boyle of the Philadelphia Police Department. He rode a Philadelphia Highway Patrol bike with a Medal of Honor guidon flying. He rode directly in front of the hearse through all manner of bad weather and unruly drivers, even functioning as an extra road guard when the need arose. Tony is a Vietnam vet who told me a couple weeks ago that nothing would stop him from helping to take Mike home. He is a man of his word and I personally wish to offer him my thanks. As the rain poured down on us just seeing the lights flashing on that bike, with the guidon flapping in the wind, caused my chest to pound with excitement. Mike belongs to the nation as a whole now, as is fitting. Sleep well brother. You are finally home.

Manchu.

Chris Hill

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