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My older brother Mike was 19 when he was killed in Vietnam on Nov. 20, 1968. He died while charging machine gun bunkers during a battle on a mountain called Nui Chom. He sacrificed himself to save the lives of his fellow soldiers and, as a result, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
When Mike was laid to rest in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery near our family’s home in Philadelphia, I thought that was the end of his story. It wasn’t.
Almost 40 years later, when I decided to see about transferring his remains to Arlington National Cemetery, most of the local veteran community did not know about Mike at all, or very little. As I went through the processes necessary to get him moved, the word started to get around.
A soldier places a flag on the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Michael Crescenz at Arlington National Cemetery. (Patrick Hughes via Casemate)
When the day came for Mike’s disinterment ceremony – May 2, 2008 – we went to Holy Sepulchre thinking that only family members and a few friends from the old neighborhood would be there. But we found a