A fitting tribute

Monday, November 17, 2003

The Richard G. Wilson Processing and Distribution Facility has a nice ring to it.

More importantly, it brings honor to a deceased Cape Girardeau resident who deserves it.

Some local veterans and other folks employed by the U.S. Postal Service at the Cape Girardeau postal distribution center are petitioning Congress to rename the processing plant after Wilson, who served in the Korean War and posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

A copy of the petition is available for signing at city hall, 401 Independence Street, in the city manager's office.

The veterans have the blessing of Wilson's Cape Girardeau survivors -- a brother, Ronald R. Wilson, and his mother, Alice M. Wilson -- and management at the facility.

It's difficult to think of who would object, as Pfc. Richard Wilson already has several things named for him: an elementary school in Fort Benning, a medical dispensary at Fort Leonard Wood and a movie theater at Fort Campbell.

His company was passing through a valley near Opari, Korea, when the enemy opened fire. Wilson was dragging men to safety. But after the company had pulled back, he learned that a soldier given up for dead had been seen moving.

Unarmed, Wilson returned to the position to find that soldier.

Two days later, on Oct. 21, 1950, a patrol found him lying dead beside the man he returned to help.

A building in Cape Girardeau with Wilson's name will ensure his tale of bravery is passed to future generations.

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