Special Ceremony In Traverse City Honors Medal Of Honor Recipient
A Northern Michigan medal of honor recipient is now honored in Traverse City.
A special ceremony at Cherry Capital Airport unveiled a new plaque for Colonel Demas T. Craw.
He was born in Long Lake Township and served in both world wars.
He was killed while fighting in Morocco in 1942.
"Colonel Craw through his actions greatly contributed to the proud heritage the tradition of honor and legacy and valor you see in every airman today."
For years the story of Colonel Demus T. Craw and the service he gave for our country went largely unknown in Traverse City. But now generations will know
what he did.
"Colonel Craw was instantly killed by a sustained burst of machine gun fire at point blank range from a concealed position near the road."
Craw’s son Nicholas flew in from Colorado for the ceremony, escorted by those who served our country. And receiving a standing ovation along the way.
"Humbling and energizing experience to realize how many people still care about things happening 75 years ago and they wanted to honor his memory in a very rewarding way," said Nicholas Craw.
But among the dozens gathered, one family stands out.
"I managed to chase them down about twelve years ago," he said.
Orris Corey was driving the jeep Colonel Craw rode in when he was killed.
"I saw his name in a book and for the first time I realized I knew the name of the driver of the jeep fortunately when I went to do some research he still lived in Evart, Michigan," Nicholas said.
"Nick had gotten in touch with my husband saying that my husband was the last one who ever saw his father alive," said Phyllis Corey.
Orris has since died. His family attended in his place.
"One of the humblest men ever I didn’t even know he had the silver star until we had been married a couple years and he was just a very good person," she said.
Even though Demus wasn’t here to see the ceremony, his legacy will live on as countless people will pass this plaque that shares his story.
"When he graduated from West Point the motto was duty, honor, country, and I think those are all words we can live by," Nicholas said.
A new VA Outpatient Clinic which will be named after Craw is in the works.
It could be open as early as 2018