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In Memory of Nicholas Oresko

Oct 9, 2013
Floor Statement



Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in memory of Master Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, and Bayonne, New Jersey native, who passed away on October 4, 2013 at the age of ninety-six. 

In the final stages of WWII, on January 23, 1945, Master Sergeant Oresko’s unit was pinned down by deadly enemy machine gun fire as the Battle of Bulge drew to a close. 

As platoon leader with Company C, he made a final, solitary attempt to eliminate the German position in nearby bunkers.  Master Sergeant Oresko charged the hill, weathering enemy fire, to throw a grenade into the German bunkers. 

Refusing to withdraw from battle, despite being wounded and weak with blood loss, he continued the assault until he was assured the mission was successfully accomplished. 

His lone assault wiped out two machine-gun positions and enabled his unit to take the hill with minimum casualties.

The true impact of his unselfish actions can never be measured as it extends beyond the lives of the men he saved.

Master Sergeant Oresko was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman on October 30, 1945 for his quick thinking, indomitable courage, and unswerving devotion to his country and fellow soldiers.

I rise today in memory of Master Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, to honor his courage, and to ensure that those who would sacrifice their own safety for the benefit of the Nation, are never forgotten.