Congressional Medal of Honor Society

MEDAL OF HONOR DAY

HONORING SERVICE AND SACRIFICE

MEDAL OF HONOR DAY

March 25 was established by Congress as National Medal of Honor Day to “foster public appreciation and recognition of Medal of Honor recipients.”

As the Congressionally-chartered organization for the 66 living Medal of Honor Recipients, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society is grateful for the nation honoring the 3,511 Recipients who have received the Medal since the Civil War. Yet we are most appreciative of the opportunity it offers to reinforce what this day means to us.

To its Recipients, the Medal of Honor represents more than recognition of combat actions. Instead, it symbolizes the sacrifices of those we served alongside and those who came before us. Each year on this day, Medal of Honor Recipients lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The “unknowns” buried here are each Medal of Honor Recipients.

Men standing at the tomb of the unknown soldier for a wreath laying ceremony

CITIZEN HONORS AWARDS

While we honor fellow veterans, we do not believe it is necessary to wear a uniform to serve or sacrifice for others and that the principles behind the Medal are relevant to all Americans–courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship. This is why our mission is to share the stories of the Medal to servicemembers, students, veterans and members of the public.

One way that we do this is through our annual Citizen Honors Awards. This program was created 15 years ago to allow Medal of Honor Recipients to shine a spotlight on our fellow citizens in recognition of the sacrifices they have made and the service they have carried out on behalf of others. As is our tradition, we will take the opportunity on National Medal of Honor Day to notify a new group of honorees that they have been selected to be honored by our organization.

Men standing at the tomb of the unknown soldier for a wreath laying ceremony

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MEDAL OF HONOR

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Please visit our extensive website to read about the 3,511 Medal of Honor Recipients in our database, the history of the Medal, our outreach and education initiatives and to browse our video library.

Men standing at the tomb of the unknown soldier for a wreath laying ceremony

MEDAL OF HONOR: INSPIRE THE FUTURE.

Narrated by Gary Sinise, this new video celebrates the history and values of the United States’ highest award for valor in combat.

Video Library

View Video Library

Davis, Rodney – Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient

The story of Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient Rodney Davis is recounted by his family, those he served with, and those who carry on his legacy.

Clinton Romesha Medal of Honor Presentation Ceremony

In a February 11, 2013, White House ceremony, Clinton Romesha is presented with the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan during the War on Terrorism.

Medal of Honor Day – Wreath Laying 2022

Every year on March 25, in honor of National Medal of Honor Day, Medal of Honor Recipients lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in memory of all who have made the ultimate sacrifice. In 2021, Recipients Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., and Brian Thacker laid the wreath.

MEDAL OF HONOR FACTS AND FAQS

Learn more about the highest award for military valor in action.

NUMBER OF MEDALS OF HONOR AWARDED

3530 TOTAL

NUMBER OF MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

3511 Total

NUMBER OF LIVING MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

66 Total

FIRST MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDED

1863

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR SOCIETY ESTABLISHED:

1958

RECIPIENTS' MEDAL OF HONOR MUSEUM OPENED IN MT. PLEASANT, SC

1992

FAQs

  • What is the medal of honor?

    The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest award for military valor in action and was first signed into law in 1861 during the Civil War. The Medal is a distinguished award, presented to those who have shown gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty.

  • How many Medal of Honor Recipients are there?

    Out of the 41 million who have served in the U.S. military, the Medal has been presented to only 3,511 service members who went above and beyond the call of duty, each of whom can be researched in the Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient database located here. Among these Recipients, 19 are double awardees, which means that there have been 3,530 Medals of Honor awarded.

  • Who is the Congressional Medal of Honor Society?

    Chartered by Congress in 1958, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s membership is limited to those who wear the Medal of Honor — to those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The Society reflects their dedication to courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship that makes our nation great. There are 66 living Medal of Honor Recipients whose acts of military valor were performed during the following conflicts: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the War on Terrorism. The Society and its Recipient’s Medal of Honor Museum are located on the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

  • How to support the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Preservation, Education, Outreach and Support programs

    The Medal of Honor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1999 to advance the mission and provide a path for financial support of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

    The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is the only organization Chartered by Congress to support Recipients. Although the Medal of Honor traces its origins back to 1861, it wasn’t until 1958 that Congress and President Eisenhower chartered a specific organization to address the work and well-being of Recipients. The Society and Foundation rely solely on private philanthropy – gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations – and receive no government funding. The Foundation is a 4-Star Rated Charity as rated by Charity Navigator. You can help “Honor the Sacrifce; Inspire the Future” through our secure Medal of Honor Foundation Donor Perfect page here.

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