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bal 100 years of gratitude veterans and families remember baltimore world war i soldier on memorial day 20190527During a crucial offensive in France late in World War I, as a unit of the Maryland National Guard was being stalled by enemy machine-gun fire, a young soldier from Baltimore volunteered to go over the top and attack. Pvt. Henry G. Costin, 20, was awarded the first Medal of Honor in the history of the legendary Maryland-based 29th Infantry Division.

100 years of gratitude: Veterans and families remember Baltimore World War I soldier on Memorial Day

By Jonathan M. Pitts
via the Baltimore Sun newspaper (MD) web site

During a crucial offensive in France late in World War I, as a unit of the Maryland National Guard was being stalled by enemy machine-gun fire, a young soldier from Baltimore volunteered to go over the top and attack.

Pvt. Henry G. Costin, 20, led a team of volunteers into the teeth of the barrage, firing his automatic rifle into the German nest and continuing to operate it after being hit multiple times.

Costin died of his wounds, but his act of bravery allowed for the capture of 100 enemy soldiers and the completion of the mission — one reason he was awarded the first Medal of Honor in the history of the legendary Maryland-based 29th Infantry Division and why local soldiers and their families celebrate his memory to this day.

More than 50 people were in attendance Monday to witness the laying of wreaths at Costin’s grave at Loudon Park National Cemetery, marking the 100th straight Memorial Day on which he has been so honored.

The guests also saw a presentation of colors by the Maryland National Guard Honor Guard, heard patriotic speeches and watched the unveiling of a bronze plaque from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs thanking not just fallen veterans, but also their families for their contributions to the cause of freedom.

The department, which operates 136 national cemeteries in 40 states, is dedicating identical plaques at each location this month.

Costin’s niece, Laurel Costin Bodie of Timonium, helped place two wreaths in honor of Costin on a sun-splashed morning.

Read the entire article on the Baltimore Sun web site here:

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