LCDR Michael Durham Christian

LCDR Michael Durham Christian

Birth
New York, USA
Death 4 Sep 1983 (aged 42)
Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach City, Virginia, USA
Burial Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 25251536 · View Source
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TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL DURHAM
CHRISTIAN
HON. ROBERT E. (BUD) CRAMER, JR.
OF ALABAMA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
honor Lieutenant Commander Michael Durhen
Christian. Michael was a prisoner of war in
Vietnam from April 24, 1967, to March 4,
1973. Today marks the 30th anniversary of his
release.
Mike was a highly decorated soldier, touting
two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, four Air
Medals, the Legion of Merit, and the Navy
Commendation Medal. But perhaps what Michael
is most well known for is the flag he
made while in the Hao Lo POW Camp.
In the last year of his imprisonment, Mike
began collecting bits of fabric. He fashioned a
needle out of bamboo, used the thread from
his blanket, and made an American flag that
he sewed to the inside of his jacket. Mike's
flag was a source of pride and comfort for
many of the soldiers. Mike would hold up his
flag, and they would salute.
When the guards at the POW Camp eventually
found the flag, Mike was beaten and tortured
for hours. When he was returned to the
cell, Mike immediately gathered his remaining
cloth and began to sew again. Leo Thorness,
Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and
survivor of the Hao Lo POW Camp stated
‘‘Now, whenever I see the flag, I think of Mike
and the morning he first waved that tattered
emblem of a nation. It was then, thousands of
miles from home in a lonely prison cell, that
he showed us what it is to be truly free.''
Mike attended Butler High School in Alabama
and still has family in our community. In
September 1983, Mike lost his life in a house
fire. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to recognize
LCDR Christian today. His patriotism and
service to this country serve as an example to all Americans.
NOTE:
Mike's Courage has also been mentioned several times by fellow POW Sen. John McCain.


Family Members

Gravesite Details I will gladly transfer this memorial to a relative. I don't like people who won't
  • Maintained by: Millie Wilson
  • Originally Created by: Charles W. Sanders
  • Added: 14 Mar 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 25251536
  • jrrmr910
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for LCDR Michael Durham Christian (7 Oct 1940–4 Sep 1983), Find a Grave Memorial no. 25251536, citing Huntsville Memory Gardens, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Millie Wilson (contributor 47178292) .