Dan Fordice to receive American Spirit Medallion

Published 2:56 pm Thursday, June 17, 2021

Vicksburg resident Dan Fordice has been named a recipient of the American Spirit Medallion for his work in preserving the history of World War II and helping wounded veterans through the Warrior Bonfire Program.

The award will be presented Friday during The American Spirit Awards ceremony in New Orleans. This year’s program will be presented virtually. 

The National World War II Museum presents the medallion annually to people who exemplify the highest standards of integrity, discipline and initiative while making unselfish contributions to their community, state or nation.

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Previous recipients include Sen. Howard Baker, Tom Brokaw, President George H.W. Bush, Tom Hanks and Henry Kissinger.

“It’s a great honor,” Fordice said. “The World War II Museum is a tremendous facility. I do a lot of work with them and it is a very great honor to be honored by them for anything. They are continually year after year voted the second-best museum in all the country. It is a tremendous place.

Fordice is the founder of the Southern Heritage Air Foundation, which preserves the history of World War II with displays of the experiences of local veterans and period aircraft. He is also the founder of the Warrior Bonfire Program, which helps improve the lives of combat-wounded veterans.

“The National World War II Museum is proud to honor Dan Fordice with the American Spirit Medallion for his service to country, unwavering community support and philanthropic efforts to help his fellow veterans in need,” said Stephen J. Watson, president and CEO of The National World War II Museum.

“His work assisting Purple Heart recipients heal emotionally and physically has been invaluable to combat veterans as they return home from the battlefield,” Watson said. “I have also had the good fortune of observing firsthand Dan’s passion for restoring and piloting vintage aircraft as a way to honor the men and women who flew and built them. Simply put, Dan is a great American who has lived his life in service to others.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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