ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – “This is where the medal belongs. It was just incredibly emotional, it brings tears to my eyes because as I said, my major issue is the fact that he died thinking that no one cared”, said former Albany Common Council Member Barbara Smith.
But they indeed did care and they fought for him, just as he did for many years.
Barbara Smith, the special community projects coordinator for the city of Albany, remembers that day back in June, the day so many had been waiting decades for.
This special day was when Private Henry Johnson was finally awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
“HJ was in WWI and it took this long for him to get the incredibly deserved recognition that he has received. It’s just a day of great pride and it’s not, you know, it’s about the heroism. It’s not necessarily about the whole context”, said Smith.
Now, that honor will be on display for the Capital Region at the State Capitol. Smith said she is hopeful that’s not the only stop for the medal here in town.
“And he lived right here in Arbor Hill. We also hope to see it at city hall too the medal at city hall because a lot of people come through there just different kinds of business that they need to transact and we want it to be very available for people so we hope that after it’s at the Capitol it may indeed take the trip down the road to city hall too”, said Smith.
History is on display at a place Johnson called home. The medal is back where those who fought for the award for a hero said it belongs.
“It’ll be nice to have it in town”, said Smith.