Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to Civil War hero

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A special tribute took place at the White House for an act of heroism that took place 151 years ago -- President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to a Civil War hero.

A special tribute took place at the White House Thursday for an act of heroism that took place 151 years ago. President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to a descendant of First Lt. Alonzo Cushing.

Historians say Cushing stood his ground against charging confederate troops at the Battle of Gettysburg, helping to turn the tide during that legendary Civil War battle.

Obama says he's aware he may not be president today if it weren't for the bravery of Cushing and his fellow troops.

"Typically, this medal must be awarded within a few years of the action," Obama said. "But sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the passage of time. This medal is a reminder that no matter how long it takes it is never too late to do the right thing."

First Lt. Alonzo Cushing.



The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award.

It took an act of Congress and years of lobbying by Cushing's descendants to get the Wisconsin native the recognition they thought he deserved.

Obama congratulated Cushing's cousin for bringing Republicans and Democrats together. He joked that the White House may call on her again for help.

To read the remarks made during the White House ceremony, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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societyawardpresident barack obamabarack obamawarsoldiersarmyheromilitaryWashington DCThe White House
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