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Character Education: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel Williams (World War II)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Hershel Williams

Hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
Sponsored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation

WATCH THE EDWEBINAR RECORDING
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Plan for your class to tune in to watch the on-demand recording with Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. Williams performed the actions for which he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor while serving with the Marines on Iwo Jima in 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, then-Corporal Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine-gun fire from the unyielding positions. He fought desperately for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire to wipe out one position after another. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strongpoints encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective.

This edWebinar, presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, is an inspiring learning opportunity for middle and high school students to connect directly with an American hero. Interviews with Medal of Honor Recipients are part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program, a free program that helps students build character and promotes responsible citizenship through a deeper understanding of stories of courage and sacrifice. Before viewing the edWebinar, we encourage teachers to review Williams’ story with their class.

Students must view the program with their teacher. If you register, you’ll receive a link to the recording if you would like to show it to your class at another time.

This interview was broadcast from the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Hershel WilliamsMedal of Honor Recipient Hershel Williams Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine-gun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by four riflemen, he fought desperately for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one position after another. On one occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants, and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strongpoints encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams’ aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

cathy metcalfHost and Interviewer

Cathy Ehlers Metcalf joined the Medal of Honor Character Development Program as Vice President of Education in 2015 after serving as a Regional Curriculum Trainer. Cathy taught college-level writing for over 33 years in Southern California. Cathy’s father was a World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. Those experiences gave Cathy a great respect for both the Medal of Honor and a passion for service to our Nation’s Veterans.

Join The Medal of Honor Character Development Program community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view past edWebinars to earn CE certificates.

edWeb members can download a personalized CE certificate from their edWeb member page. Not a member?  Join here!


CMOH LogoThe Medal of Honor Character Development Program is a free resource that teaches character through stories of the Medal of Honor recipients. The CDP is a cross-curriculum supplement and complies with National/State Common Core standards. The Medal of Honor Character Development Program incorporates the ideals of courage and selfless service into the middle and high school curriculum to build character and promote responsible citizenship.  The program is FREE and includes 50+ lesson plans supported by over 100 video vignettes of the Medal of Honor Recipients themselves, as well as videos of hometown heroes selected by the Medal of Honor Recipients as “Citizen Heroes.”

Listen to the Podcast

We’re happy to make podcasts available for selected panel discussions and interviews.
If you would like a CE certificate for this presentation, watch the edWebinar recording and take the CE quiz.

Download here

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