Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Congressional Medal of Honor Society Recognizes the Service and Sacrifices of Others on National Medal of Honor Day; Announces New Initiatives
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C.—On National Medal of Honor Day, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society—the membership organization of the 65 living Medal of Honor recipients—took the opportunity to shine the spotlight on others—both military and civilian–and to announce new initiatives.
March 25 was established by Congress as National Medal of Honor Day to “foster public appreciation and recognition of Medal of Honor recipients.” It was on March 25, 1863, that Private Jacob Parrot received the first Medal of Honor for his actions during the Civil War. The Society has traditionally marked the day in two ways, both of which include honoring others.
Each year, Medal of Honor recipients lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The “unknowns” buried here are all Medal of Honor Recipients, and it allows recipients to recognize the sacrifices and service of the men and women they served alongside and those who came before them.
The Society also held a wreath laying ceremony on the USS Yorktown on Charleston Harbor in South Carolina at the home of the Society and its Medal of Honor Museum to kick off the week on March 18, 2023.
Petry, who serves as the President of the Society, commented on the importance of the day. “As the Congressionally Charted organization for all living Medal of Honor Recipients, we are gratified that our nation continues to recognize the values that the Medal of Honor represents— courage, sacrifice, honor, duty, selflessness, and integrity, and we seek to ensure that these values be honored on this day and every day. To us, they represent those we served alongside, the friends we lost, and we believe they are a source of inspiration for all Americans.”
Citizen Honor Awards
In addition to the solemn ceremonies to recognize all veterans, Medal of Honor recipients sent the message that service and sacrifice are not limited to military service by notifying a new group of honorees that they had been selected for their service and valor as part of the Society’s 16th annual Citizen Honors Awards.
The Awards are the culmination of an annual nationwide search to identify U.S. citizens and an organization who have gone above and beyond as civilians. The Awards demonstrate that the principles behind the Medal are relevant to all Americans. Announcements about the honorees will be made in their local communities.
Medal of Honor Valor Trail
In addition to the annual Medal of Honor Day traditions, the Society announced a new interactive exhibit in its Medal of Honor Museum connecting places of valor like never before. A touchscreen-enabled global citation map pinpoints each of the 3,516 actions for which Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor is the first on-site component of the Medal of Honor Valor Trail™, a joint effort of the American Battlefield Trust and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. The map can be found online, as well, at the valortrail.org website.
Medal of Honor Values Poll with Ipsos
A new poll on behalf of the Medal of Honor Foundation released this week delivered a clear message that there is a substantial gap between the values Americans see as important and how they believe those same values are taught and lived in society today.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos, a global research company, found that nearly four in five Americans (79%) believe having strong values and character is important to Americans. Yet, the poll also shows that seven in ten (71%) believe that there is not enough focus on values in American society today. A strong majority of Americans (87%) agree that society would be a better place if we had stronger values, and 77% say that society is less values-oriented than in previous generations.
Overall, the poll results clearly show a need to regain schools’ prominence in values education, by providing programs, educational experiences, and role models for students. These are all areas that Medal of Honor Recipients have been delivering since the Congressional Medal of Honor Society was founded in 1958 by Congress. Recipients continue to serve and follow the mission to “to inspire and stimulate our youth to become worthy citizens of our country” through outreach, education and preservation programs, including the Medal of Honor Museum, Congressional Medal of Honor Outreach Programs, the Congressional Medal of Honor Character Development Program, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors Awards for Valor and Service.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, inspiring Americans, and supporting the Recipients as they connect with communities across the country. Chartered by Congress in 1958, its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. There are 65 living Recipients.
The Society carries out its mission through outreach, education and preservation programs.
As part of Public Law 106-83, the Medal of the Honor Memorial Act, the Medal of Honor Museum, which is co-located with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s headquarters on board the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was designated as one of three national Medal of Honor sites.
Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at cmohs.org.
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