Alabama Gov. Bob Riley awarded commendations to members of Detachment 1, 2101st Transportation Company of the Alabama National Guard, who helped victims of a church bus crash in July near Meridian.
Forty-seven soldiers received the certificates in a Friday afternoon ceremony in Montgomery.
The unit was returning July 12 to Aliceville from training at Camp Shelby when the bus from First Baptist Church of Shreveport, La., blew a tire and flipped several times on Interstate 20.
The guard unit actually lifted the bus to free those caught underneath it. Their
heroic efforts are credited with saving lives.
“What you did symbolizes what is best about our country. When you saw people who needed help, you did what you could, you did all that you could, without thinking of yourself first," said Riley. "You used your military training to help save lives and care for the wounded. You took action not to be heroes, but to serve others."
The Alabama Commendation Medal is awarded for meritorious and outstanding service and accomplishments.