Medals Believed To Have Been Stolen Returned To Mass. Armory
Every once in a while, you hear about a cool story, and this is one of those. It appears that 24 medals believed to have been stolen from the Springfield Armory are being returned.
According to a media statement from the Department of Justice in Boston, two dozen marksmanship medals were awarded to two members of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in the late 1800s, Freeman Bull and Milan Bull.
Back in 1944, the daughter and niece of the two men donated those 24 marksmanship medals to the Springfield Armory, a National Historic site managed by the National Park Service. The DOJ reports that all of the items in the Armory's collection are property of the U.S. Government.
Apparently, in October of last year, a collector contacted the Armory's curator inquiring about the marksmanship medals. It was determined, based on information provided by the collector, that several items matching the collector's items had been missing from the Armory since the 1990s.
Upon hearing this, the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately seized the historical artifacts. Subsequently, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a civil forfeiture action against the medals.
In the media statement, U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins commented:
Massachusetts is the birthplace of the American Revolution, a war that gained our nation’s independence. Protecting and preserving artifacts of our Commonwealth’s history is of fundamental importance to this. My office is committed to combating the theft and sale of stolen historical property.
A civil forfeiture action means basically that third parties are allowed to assert claims to property, which must be resolved before the property can be forfeited to the United States and returned to the victims.
It's just a matter of time hopefully, that the medals can be back in their proper place where they belong. For the full story, check out the Department of Justice's website here.