So Minnesota: Anoka Medal of Honor recipient
An Anoka man received the highest military award for his bravery during World War II.
Richard “Rick” Sorenson was awarded the Medal of Honor.
“He did something Incredibly brave, incredibly heroic,” Steve Florman with the Anoka County Historical Society said. “Saved the lives of a dozen men or more.”
After graduating from Anoka High School, Sorenson joined the Marines and was sent to fight in the Marshall Islands. On the night of February 1, 1944 the 19 year-old Sorenson threw himself on an exploding Japanese grenade to save the lives of the of his fellow Marines. Sorenson was severely wounded, but survived.
“It left a large number of little pieces of metal inside Rick mostly in his abdomen, groin, in his leg,” Florman said. “It certainly was big enough to drive a lot of pieces of metal into his body, some of which he carried for the rest of his life.”
For his heroic actions Sorenson was given the Medal of Honor, the highest military award.
“It’s just an amazing story,” Florman said “Freedom isn’t free and there’s always something that can and should be done to protect it.”
Sorenson died in 2004 at the age of 80. A park is named after Sorenson and there’s a statue of him in Anoka.