Soldier who opposed WWII is laid to rest By Bill Poovey Associated Press http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060405/NEWS/204050369/-1/State CHATTANOOGA, TENN. - The nation’s only conscientious objector in World War II to win a Medal of Honor was buried Monday with a final salute of 21 gunshots, although he refused to carry a weapon during his service. Desmond Doss Sr., 87, died March 23 in Piedmont, Ala., where he and his wife, Frances, had been staying with her family for several years. Friends said Doss organized a branch of the Seventh-day Adventist Church after moving to Alabama from Rising Fawn, Ga. Doss, who refused to carry a weapon during his wartime service as a medic in the Pacific, was the subject of a book, The Unlikeliest Hero, and a 2004 documentary, The Conscientious Objector. Patti Parks, a retired Navy commander and director of the Medal of Honor Museum, told hundreds of people at the burial that Doss, after enduring ridicule for his beliefs, "remained true to his convictions even when it was not the most popular thing to do." Medal of Honor Society records show Doss, born in Lynchburg, Va., was among 3,442 recipients of the nation’s highest military honor. A horse-drawn hearse delivered the flag-covered casket to a cemetery pavilion where his widow, Frances, son Desmond Doss Jr. and other relatives watched the military and religious ceremony at Chattanooga National Cemetery. Records show Doss registered in wartime as a conscientious objector and was assigned to serve as a company medic. On the island of Okinawa while under enemy fire, Doss carried 75 wounded soldiers to the edge of a 400-foot cliff and lowered them to safety, according to his citation. During a later attack, Doss was seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade, his citation said. Five hours later, others began carrying him to safety, but he saw a more critically injured man and crawled off his stretcher, directing the medics to help the other wounded man. Doss was invited to the White House in October 1945 to receive the medal from President Harry Truman. "Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector," a statement released by the Seventh-day Adventist Georgia-Cumberland Conference said. "He preferred the term conscientious cooperator."