MILITARY

Obama bestows Medal of Honor on 2 World War I veterans who may have faced discrimination

  • FILE - In this July 10, 2014, file photo, a statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in the Arbor Hill neighborhood in Albany, N.Y. Two World War I Army heroes, Sgt. William Shemin and Johnson are finally getting the Medal of Honor they may have been denied because of discrimination, nearly 100 years after bravely rescuing comrades on the battlefields of France. President Barack Obama plans to posthumously bestow the nation’s highest military honor on both men for their actions in 1918 during a White House ceremony Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

    FILE - In this July 10, 2014, file photo, a statue of Henry Johnson is displayed in the Arbor Hill neighborhood in Albany, N.Y. Two World War I Army heroes, Sgt. William Shemin and Johnson are finally getting the Medal of Honor they may have been denied because of discrimination, nearly 100 years after bravely rescuing comrades on the battlefields of France. President Barack Obama plans to posthumously bestow the nation’s highest military honor on both men for their actions in 1918 during a White House ceremony Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2012, file photo, Elsie Shemin-Roth flips through a book documenting the heroic acts of her father, William Shemin, during World War I, at her home in Labadie, Mo. Two World War I Army heroes, Shemin and Pvt. Henry Johnson are finally getting the Medal of Honor they may have been denied because of discrimination, nearly 100 years after bravely rescuing comrades on the battlefields of France. President Barack Obama plans to posthumously bestow the nation’s highest military honor on both men for their actions in 1918 during a White House ceremony Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2012, file photo, Elsie Shemin-Roth flips through a book documenting the heroic acts of her father, William Shemin, during World War I, at her home in Labadie, Mo. Two World War I Army heroes, Shemin and Pvt. Henry Johnson are finally getting the Medal of Honor they may have been denied because of discrimination, nearly 100 years after bravely rescuing comrades on the battlefields of France. President Barack Obama plans to posthumously bestow the nation’s highest military honor on both men for their actions in 1918 during a White House ceremony Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)  (The Associated Press)

President Barack Obama is awarding the Medal of Honor to two World War I U.S. Army soldiers who may have been denied the top military honor in the past due to discrimination.

Correcting a long ago wrong, Obama posthumously recognized Sgt. William Shemin, a Jewish soldier, and Pvt. Henry Johnson, an African American serviceman, for their heroism nearly a century ago.

Obama says "they both risked their own lives to save the lives of others." And he adds: "It's never too late to say thank you."

Shemin's two daughters, Elsie and Ina, received the award on behalf of their father. New York National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Wilson accepted the medal on Johnson's behalf.