2 WWI vets posthumously awarded Medal of Honor

Two World War I veterans, one from Westchester, were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday at the White House.

President Barack Obama said the former soldiers, one Jewish and one African-American, were long denied the honor because of prejudice and bias.

"We believe that it's never too late to say thank you," Obama said at the ceremony. "Sgt. Shemin served at a time when the contributions and heroism of Jewish-Americans in uniform were too often overlooked, but William Shemin saved American lives. "

Sgt. William Shemin received the honor for repeatedly leaving his trench to rescue fellow soldiers in the face of enemy gun fire, the Army said.

Ina Bain, Sgt. Shemin's daughter who lives in Somers, accepted the award on his behalf.

Pvt. Henry Johnson, who was from the Bronx, was honored for holding off 12 German soldiers with only a knife. He was shot 21 times, and died a decade later of combat-related injuries, according to officials.

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