Medal of Honor Day

Christopher Armstrong - 3/18/2024

National Medal of Honor Day

Celebrating National Medal of Honor Day: A Tribute to Valor and Sacrifice

March 25th marks a significant day in the history of the United States – National Medal of Honor Day. This day is dedicated to honoring the exceptional bravery and sacrifice of Medal of Honor recipients, the nation's highest military award for valor in action against an enemy force. As we commemorate this day, let's delve into the history, significance, and remarkable stories of the Medal of Honor and its recipients.

A Legacy of Valor

The Medal of Honor was established by a joint resolution of Congress in July 1862, during the Civil War. The first Medals of Honor were awarded on March 25, 1863, to Army Pvt. Jacob Parrott and five others for their courageous actions. Since then, 3,536 Medals of Honor have been awarded to 3,517 recipients, each embodying the highest ideals of courage and self-sacrifice.

The Medal of Honor: A Symbol of Ultimate Sacrifice

The Medal of Honor is not just a decoration; it is a symbol of the extraordinary bravery and selflessness exhibited by service members. It is awarded for deeds of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above their comrades, involving the risk of life.

Diversity Among Heroes

The recipients of the Medal of Honor represent the diverse fabric of America. There have been 87 African-American recipients, 41 Hispanic-American recipients, 22 Native American recipients, and 22 Asian-American recipients. Remarkably, Army Contract Surgeon Mary Walker stands as the first and only female recipient of the Medal.

A Unique Honor

Distinct from other military awards, the Medal of Honor is worn around the neck, symbolizing its unparalleled status. Recipients are entitled to several privileges, including invitations to presidential inaugurations. The Medal is awarded through a rigorous nomination process, either through the military chain of command or by a special act of Congress.

Living Legacies

Today, there are 63 living recipients of the Medal of Honor, each carrying the weight of this honor not as a personal victory but as a symbol of the sacrifices of all who have served. Their stories inspire us, reminding us of the price of freedom and the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit.

A Day of Reflection and Respect

As we observe National Medal of Honor Day, let us remember the immense courage and dedication of the recipients. Let us also educate ourselves and others about the significance of this prestigious award and the remarkable individuals who have earned it. Their valor and sacrifice continue to shine as beacons of inspiration, exemplifying the highest ideals of service and patriotism.

Honoring Their Memory

We encourage everyone to take a moment on this day to reflect on the bravery and sacrifices of these extraordinary individuals. They have set an example for all of us, showing what it means to put service above self and to act with valor in the face of danger. Let their stories inspire us to live with courage, integrity, and a deep respect for the freedoms we hold dear.