Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the first living Marine since 1973 to receive the nation's highest military honor, symbolizes the greatness of many who serve our country in uniform.
Meyer, 23, of Kentucky, received the Medal of Honor last month in ceremonies at the White House. He earned the honor by repeatedly going under enemy fire in Afghanistan to rescue his comrades.
That alone reflected the highest ideals of the Marines. But Meyer went another step last week.
As the Columbus Dispatch reported, the young Marine feels guilty he survived the action for which he was honored, while five of his fellow Americans did not.
So Meyer asked the dead from that fight - 1st Lt. Michael Johnson of Virginia Beach, Va.; Gunnery Sgt. Edwin W. Johnson Jr. of Columbus, Ga.; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick of Roswell, Ga.; Corpsman Thomas Layton of Riverbank, Calif.; and Army Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook of Shiprock, N.M. - be honored, too. On the same day Meyer received his medal, the five men were honored in their hometowns.
What is it the medal citations stress? That recipients "upheld the highest traditions ..." Clearly, Meyer has done so.