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Bush Awards Medal of Honor


U.S. President George Bush marked America's Veterans Day by awarding a posthumous Medal of Honor to a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq. Mr. Bush made the award as part of the dedication of a new museum to the nation's Marine Corps.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, more than 190,000 men and women have joined the Marine Corps.

Among them was Corporal Jason Dunham, who was killed outside the Iraqi town of Karabilah in 2004, when officials say he threw himself on an enemy grenade to protect his fellow Marines.

President Bush awarded the nation's highest decoration for valor to Dunham's parents as part of a ceremony marking the opening of a national Marine Corps museum.

He said, "As long as we have Marines like Corporal Dunham, America will never fear for her liberty. And as long as we have this fine museum, America will never forget their sacrifice."

Thousands of current and former Marines joined the president in opening the new museum just outside the nation's capital in the state of Virginia.

The museum records the 231-year* history of the Marine Corps and many of its most famous battles.

"These walls pay tribute to your contributions to American freedom. These walls remind all who visit here that honor, courage, and commitment are not just words. They are core values for a way of life that puts service above self," Mr. Bush said.

The dedication was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Marine Corps' founding and the day Americans set aside to honor veterans from all the armed forces.

On Saturday, the president and Mrs. Bush will place a wreath in honor of fallen veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.

* corrected 13 Nov 2006 - report initially said 225-year history. The Marine Corps was founded in 1775.

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