A Congressional Medal of Honor will be awarded next week to Missourian Elsie Shemin-Roth’s father. The late Sgt. William Shemin will be recognized for acts of heroism during World War I when he led his entire platoon to safety.
It’s been nearly a century after his heroic efforts and Shemin-Roth told Missourinet her father was a true American hero.
“He went out on three different occasions to rescue wounded comrades. He was able to bring three back,” said Shemin-Roth.
Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer jumped through several hoops in Washington to make sure Shemin was given the nation’s highest military honor. Luetkemeyer said Shemin did the responsible thing.
“He tried to rescue his fellow soldiers and did it under extreme duress. To me, he’s an inspiration,” said Luetkemeyer.
Shemin-Roth said anti-Semitism towards American Jewish soldiers during her father’s time delayed this honor. In 2002, Shemin-Roth saw an article about a congressional review taking place for Jewish military who felt anti-Semitism played a role in the medals they did or did not receive. That’s when Shemin-Roth began her mission to make sure her father received the Medal of Honor.
“Tears come to my eyes when I hear that. I mean, look what he did. Does anti-Semitism come to that point when a kid goes above and beyond?”
Shemin-Roth and 64 of her family members will make the trip for the ceremony on June 2 in Washington D.C.