Rep. Burchett reintroduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., (Apr. 24, 2023) – Today, U.S. Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02) reintroduced the Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds Congressional Gold Medal Act.

"Roddie Edmonds showed incredible bravery that should make every American proud," said Rep. Burchett. "He fearlessly faced down Nazi soldiers during World War II and saved hundreds of Jewish lives when he refused to turn in his fellow Jewish servicemembers, even at gunpoint. This Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting way to honor his legacy."

Master Sergeant Edmonds was a lifelong East Tennessean. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge where Nazi forces captured and detained him at a prisoner of war camp. MSG Edmonds was one of 1,200 American soldiers captured by the Germans. He was a prisoner of war for 100 days. 

During his detainment, German soldiers ordered Jewish POWs to identify themselves so they could be separately sent to labor and concentration camps. When MSG Edmonds was held at gunpoint and ordered to surrender the identity of the Jewish soldiers in his company, he refused and stated, "We are all Jews here." Their identities were never given, and the German soldiers eventually ceased their interrogation, saving over 200 Jewish soldiers' lives.

Since Edmonds' death in 1985, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, designated him "Righteous Among the Nations" for his heroism. He is one of only five Americans to receive this award.

This bill was cosponsored by Reps: Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), John Rose (TN-06), David Kustoff (TN-08), Andy Ogles (TN-05), Mark Green (TN-07), Ryan Zinke (MT-01), Bruce Western (AR-04), Hillary Scholten (MI-03), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Jeff Jackson (NC-14), Patrick Ryan (NY-18), Carlos Gimenez (FL-28), Brandon Williams (NY-22), Tracey Mann (KS-01)

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