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Merritt Austin Edson



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery

edson_merritt_reverse.jpg (91153 bytes)

BORN:  April 25, 1897 at Rutland, VT

Entered Service in the US Marine Corps from Vermont

Earned the Medal of Honor during World War II For heroism on September 13 & 14, 1942 at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

DIED:  August 14, 1955 at the age of 58

During action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands, and after the airfield on Guadalcanal had been seized from the enemy, Colonel Edson, with a force of 800 men, was assigned to the occupation and defense of a ridge dominating the jungle on either side of the airport. Facing a formidable Japanese attack which, augmented by infiltration, had crashed through our front lines, he, by skillful handling of his troops, successfully withdrew his forward units to a reserve line with minimum casualties. When the enemy, in a subsequent series of violent assaults, engaged our force in desperate hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, rifles, pistols, grenades, and knives, Colonel Edson, although continuously exposed to hostile fire throughout the night, personally directed defense of the reserve position against a fanatical foe of greatly superior numbers. By his astute leadership and gallant devotion to duty, he enabled his men, despite severe losses, to cling tenaciously to their position on the vital ridge.



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