As CNN reported, Davis has achieved many firsts and received many honors throughout his career. After the 1965 battle, Davis served two more decades in the Army, earning such honors as the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He retired in 1985 with the rank of colonel. In 2019, he was inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame. However, throughout this time, the Medal of Honor remained the major award Davis never received. In addition, the paperwork associated with his nomination was lost on two separate occasions, a coincidence that some have attributed to racial bias.
Biden called Davis to let him know he would finally receive the Medal of Honor. Far from being bitter at the delay in recognition, Davis reportedly told the president that “America was behind me.” During the ceremony, Biden proclaimed the day he awarded Davis the Medal of Honor “may be the most consequential day” of his presidency.
Davis’ story is extraordinary, not only for his heroics in 1965 but for his decades of service and sacrifice for a country that often did not treat him fairly or recognize his accomplishments. His receipt of the Medal of Honor thus represents a personal achievement and a small measure of progress for the United States in its recognition of Black soldiers and citizens.