Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Monuments Men

By Jay Townsend

Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

When Deputy Counsel Ralph H. Allen from the Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers was 13-years-old his grandfather, Ralph Hammett, took him on a tour through Europe explaining what the United States and Allies endured during World War II. What Allen didn’t know as a boy is that his grandfather was an Army Monuments Man charged with preserving the history, art and architecture of the war torn country during the world’s darkest hours.

Ralph W. Hammett sits at a desk during World War II. At this time Hammett held the rank of Captain.

Ralph W. Hammett sits at a desk during World War II. At this time Hammett held the rank of Captain.

In the past year following the release of a Hollywood blockbuster featuring the Army’s famed treasure savers, Allen has had the chance to look at history through his late grandfather’s storied life.

On Oct. 22 2015 recently Allen attended a ceremony in our nation’s capital because his granddad and comrades received a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Monuments Men.

On Oct. 22 2015 recently Allen attended a ceremony in our nation’s capital because his granddad and comrades received a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Monuments Men.

On Oct. 22 2015 recently Allen attended a ceremony in our nation’s capital because his granddad and comrades received a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Monuments Men.

Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

At the ceremony Allen had the opportunity to meet a few of the fine gentlemen his grandfather served with and their families.

View a previous article about Allen’s grandfather…

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