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In 1918, Congress passed legislation that toughened the standards for the Congressional Medal of Honor to increase its prestige. Roughly a thousand recipients were stripped of their medals, some because they were civilians others because they didn't meet the new standards. Those NOT stripped were the 20 officers and enlisted men awarded the medal for the Wounded Knee Massacre.

There's a number of versions as to what happened like Picks & Shovel 

Some have suggested that many of the 28 soldiers killed during the conflict came from friendly fire. In fact General Miles chastised Colonel Forsyth for leaving his men in such a position as they were in each other's line of fire. 

In response to a petition for rescindment, Senator McCain the chairman of the Senate Committe on Indian Affairs suggested that a memorial and apology for the victims of the Wounded Knee Massacre was a more fitting homage than rescinding medals from long dead soldiers. McCain mentions that the Wounded Knee medals were reviewed by retired generals back in 1918 when the standards were toughened and none of them were rescinded at that time. However he didn't mention that General Miles was one of those generals and he had approved most of those medals. 

Do we dishonor other Medal of Honor winners by allowing unworthy recipients to keep the medal? Do we dishonor the innocents killed at Wounded Knee? Should we ask for another review or try to move on?

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  • They should be rescinded. There is no 'honor' in killing unarmed people.
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