By Spc. Melissa ChurchMay 20, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y - Soldiers in 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion represented the Army and the 10th Mountain Division (LI) in the 2010 Ellis Island Medals of Honor ceremony May 8 at Ellis Island.
Every year, American citizens of diverse origins are chosen to be honored in the ceremony for their contributions to the nation. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor ceremony, hosted by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, celebrates the ancestry groups that built America.
The event consisted of the opening ceremony, in which all the armed service branches are represented. Two of the 10th Mountain Soldiers in attendance and two Marines were selected to present medals to awardees.
Spc. William Cochran, a satellite transmission specialist with Company C, 3rd BSTB, was one of the Soldiers selected to make a presentation. Cochran presented English actress Jane Seymour with a medal from the NECO, recognizing her contributions to her community.
The ceremony held on Ellis Island had much more Soldier involvement than the presenting of the medals. Soldiers provided a cordon for the arrival of the ferry boats containing the awardees. Then Soldiers went to the festival tent for the posting of the colors.
"It was humbling, sitting on Ellis Island and realizing the impact it had on our country," Cochran said.
The weekend was not only to honor citizens who add cultural diversity to the country, but an opportunity for Soldiers to remember why they joined the Army.
"I believe everyone should serve," Cochran said. "I (joined the Army because) wanted to do my part for my country."