Pastor Chris Edmonds of Piney Grove Baptist Church on Maryville, Tennessee, is the son of the World War II hero, Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, who saved nearly 200 Jewish prisoners of war from a near inevitable death in a German POW camp on a bitterly cold January morning in the 1940s, which is an amazing story previously reported on by Shalom Adventure. Chris Edmonds has been recognized on behalf of his late father among the “Righteous Among the Nations” by the State of Israel and Yad Vashem, which is a rather prestigious award that has only been given to five Americans ever.
“Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds seemed like an ordinary American soldier, but he had an extraordinary sense of responsibility and dedication to his fellow human beings,” said Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. “The choices and actions of Master Sergeant Edmonds set an example for his fellow American soldiers as they stood united against the barbaric evil of the Nazis.”
Edmonds knew little of his father’s heroic wartime actions until after his father’s death as his father was a humble man who did not speak often of his experiences, but young Edmonds pieced much of the information together after his passing.
His father was always, “doing what is right for others, opposing what’s wrong or evil, [dignifying] life and humanity, [and expressing] love for everyone,” Edmonds said according to the Southern Jewish Life magazine.
Edmonds’ late father is a potential candidate for a Medal of Honor, which is the highest possible award for a heroic action against an enemy force that can be given to a member of the United States Armed Services. Master Sergeant Edwards is also being considered for a Congressional Gold Medal for his actions at the German POW camp.
Chris Edmonds, besides dedicating his life to God first and foremost, has also dedicated his life to preserving his father’s legacy in any way possible through books and public speaking events at schools and among different veterans’ groups focusing on messages of “choosing right, opposing wrong, dignifying life, and esteeming everyone.”
Written by Erin Parfet