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Sunday, April 14, 2024

'Ghost Army' receives Congressional Gold Medal

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR/WGN) — In World War II they fought the Germans by fooling them with special effects just like they did in the movies. The surviving members of the “Ghost Army” got their happy ending: a Congressional Gold Medal to honor them and their fellow “cast members.”

The Ghost Army’s mission was top secret so many haven’t talked so publicly about their work until now.

100-year-old Bernie Bluestein and his World War II comrades were known as the “Ghost Army”, hundreds of soldiers who fooled the Germans with inflatable tanks, costume uniforms and acting. Their top-secret fake military movements likely saved tens of thousands of Americans.

“Let the world know that we did exist,” said Ghost Army veteran Bernie Bluestein.

On Thursday Congress pulled out all the stops for these veterans bestowing them with the highest civilian honor lawmakers can give the Congressional Gold Medal.

“I’m very proud and happy to be here,” said Bluestein.

Reverend Donald Fox’s father is one of the seven known surviving members of the Ghost Army.

They say they wouldn’t be here today without the work of Rick Beyer who first brought attention to their mission when the government declassified it.

“It has been well worth the wait, right?” asked Ghost Army Legacy Project President, Rick Beyer.

Beyer thanked the lawmakers who helped make the Congressional Gold Medal happen, including New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster, who introduced the bill.

“These secret soldiers were innovators, and they played a decisive role in turning the tide and winning the war,” said Kuster.

Now this crowd wants to make sure they’ll never be forgotten.

President Biden signed the bill back in 2022 to make this happen. Other WWII veterans have received the honor, and recently, so have the Capitol Police for protecting the Capitol on January 6th, and Emmett Till and his mother.

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