Sunday, March 25, 2012

National Medal of Honor Day

Did you know that today was National Medal of Honor Day? Probably not.

In 1990, via Public Law 101-564, the United States Congress designated March 25th of each year as NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY, a day dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients.

March 25th was selected because it was the first date on which the Medal was awarded in 1863.

It's a simple act:

An Act

To designate March 25, 1991, as `National Medal of Honor Day'.

Whereas the Medal of Honor is the highest distinction that can be awarded by the President, in the name of the Congress, to members of the Armed Forces who have distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty;

Whereas only a few of the millions of men and women who have served the Nation in war, military operations, or other armed conflicts have received the Medal of Honor;

Whereas the 1st Medal of Honor awards were presented to 6 men on March 25, 1863, by the Secretary of War;

Whereas it is appropriate to honor the heroic recipients of the Medal of Honor;

Whereas public awareness of the importance of the Medal of Honor has declined in recent years; and

Whereas the designation of National Medal of Honor Day will focus the efforts of national, State, and local organizations striving to foster public appreciation and recognition of Medal of Honor recipients: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That March 25, 1991, is designated as `National Medal of Honor Day', and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.

These are the medals (from Wikipedia) and are, from left to right, Army, Coast Guard/Navy/Marine Corps and Air Force.

It is the highest military decoration and it is awarded by the President on behalf of Congress to those who perform "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."

Since 1941, more than half of the medals have been awarded posthumously. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker is the only woman to have received the Medal.

Here is the list of all Medal of Honor recipients. The Ohio Historical Society has a web page dedicated to MOH recipients from our state. They also have a search page that allows you to sort by county. There are 10 from Lucas County - I hope you'll read their citations which are listed on the page.

Additionally, here are some interesting facts about the Medal of Honor.

While we appreciate all our military members, Medal of Honor recipients certainly deserve their own day.

1 comment:

Mike Shields said...

Nice post. Those are the folks that make it possible for us to enjoy our ability not to have to show an internal passport when we travel,or otherwise notify authorities when we go somewhere.

Though, certainly, we are losing more of our rights each day.

Of course,if Obama gets another 4 years we will have no rights left.

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