Milton Lee Olive was an 18-year-old soldier serving during the Vietnam War when he gave his life to save his fellow soldiers. On Monday, Copernicus Elementary School, 6010 S. Throop on the South Side, where Olive grew up, honored the former student and war hero. The recognition was part of Cook County President Todd Stroger’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey giveaway event.
The second annual “Peace Fest” also included a taped message from retired Army Capt. Jimmy Stanford, one of four soldiers Olive saved. On Oct. 22, 1965, Olive smothered himself on a live grenade thrown by enemy soldiers. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1966 for his act of bravery, the first black American to receive the honor. In 1999, the city of Chicago named Olive Park, located near Lake Michigan, after him.
Monday’s event also recognized Chicago Public School students who have lost their lives to violence this year.