President Joe Biden: Williams was an American hero who answered country’s call

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

I don’t throw the word “hero” around lightly, but if I’m going to use it, I’d use it for a guy like Woody Williams.

He was a hero to his family, supporting them when his dad, a West Virginia farmer, passed away.

He was a hero to his country, a Marine flamethrower who volunteered to clear enemy pillboxes during the Battle of Iwo Jima to protect American tanks.

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And he was a hero to his community, a relentless advocate for Gold Star Families who knew from experience the cost of war before he joined but answered the call nevertheless.

Woody passed away June 29 in the VA hospital bearing his name – the last remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipient, and a hero to us all.

Now I share this first and foremost to honor Woody and the incredible life he’s lived. But I also share it because it’s a reminder that World War II vets – the folks who answered the free world’s call at its greatest hour of need – are becoming fewer and farther between.

If there’s a World War II veteran in your life, give them a call. Thank them for their service.

And remember that heroism – like it did for Woody – can come in all different shapes and sizes.

Thanks for everything, Woody. Rest easy.

— Joe Biden is the 46th and current president of the United States.