David Bellavia was at the Pentagon one day after he received the Medal of Honor at the White House. In yet another honor, his name is now displayed in its Hall of Heroes, called the most sacred place in that building.
“It’s really overwhelming. I more looking at it and thinking that it’s just – I think of the guys. I think of what it means to them what it means to all of us,” Bellavia said.
The hall includes the name of each Medal of Honor recipient. Bellavia’s spot is right above Corporal Jason Dunham, another Western New Yorker who posthumously received the Medal of Honor in 2007.
Bellavia still says this whole thing is awkward, but made less so by his fellow soldiers, many of whom were again in the crowd.
“This is not a celebration about me. I’m not mouthing a cliche,” Bellavia said. “We have much more work to do when it comes to the Iraq War veteran. We are not there yet and we’re not even close when it comes to our fellow Americans about what we accomplished what we sacrificed and what we went through.”
Bellavia Is credited with saving his entire platoon on a November 2004 day in Fallujah. While not everybody Bellavia served with in his career is here to celebrate with him, several Gold Star families were. Those families who have lost loved ones at war, and that meant so much to Bellavia.
“I know if the roles were reversed that their dads would be doing the same thing for my family. I know it. It’s automatic, but it’s really touching and it really changes your life. The whole thing has been life-changing.”