COLUMBUS (WCMH) — While Veterans Day was Sunday, Nov. 11, many observed the day on Monday and honored military veterans for their service.
Fifty-three veterans, all of them Ford Oval of Honor recipients, were recognized Monday morning at a breakfast at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.
Ronald E. Rosser received the highest possible award for his service in the Korean War, the Medal of Honor.
“There was 35 of us against a couple thousand of them,” Rosser said, describing January 12, 1952.
Was he scared, fighting behind enemy lines in North Korea?
“No, ma’am,” Rosser said. “I was kind of busy.”
Rosser served in the Army from 1946 to 1968.
“The first five days I was in combat, I almost got killed about three times, and still alive and I still had 360 more days to go,” Rosser said. “And the prospect did not look good, so I quit worrying about it.”
During the battle for which he received the Medal of Honor, Rosser said he killed more than a dozen Chinese soldiers in close combat. Many of his fellow American soldiers were wounded or killed, too.
“I like to think that I’m here for all the men I was with,” Rosser said> “The men […] that all perished around me. I represent them. I didn’t do anything that these other men didn’t do or try to do. I was just good at it and I was lucky.”
Lieutenant General Mike Ferriter, the president and CEO of the new memorial and museum, said there were veterans from many different conflicts represented at the Oval of Honor breakfast.
“There’s Korean War vets, interwar vets, we like to say, who didn’t deploy to a fight but maintained a defense,” Ferriter said. “There’s Panama, Grenada and then [the] Iraq conflict and Afghanistan conflict.”
Ferriter said he hopes the Ford Oval of Honor program brings attention to veterans and the roles they fill in our communities.
“They’re in your communities. They’re in your neighborhoods. There are teachers and policemen and firemen and butchers and bakers and candlestick makers,” Ferriter said.