Medal of Honor Day: Above and Beyond The Call Of Duty

 In History, Military

Today is Medal of Honor Day. During the Civil War, 155 years ago today, the very first Medal of Honor was awarded to Private Jacob Parrott in 1863. Established by President Abraham Lincoln for Sailors and Marines first in December of 1861, the nation’s highest military honor was expanded to include other services in 1862. Since its creation, the medal has been awarded to 3,493 persons over 26 conflicts. They are those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The Medal of Honor is given only to those who have displayed “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict with an opposing armed force.”

There are only 71 living Medal of Honor recipients, 31 of whom are in Washington DC today to celebrate this Medal of Honor Day. Thirty of those received an Honor Guard in New York as they left to fly to DC for the main celebration. Some recipients donated their medals to their units, saying “it’s their medal.”

“We fought side-by-side with Americans from all walks of life. We wear our medals for all of them, and especially for those who didn’t come home.

As Medal of Honor recipients, we have the opportunity to travel around the country and meet patriotic Americans striving every day to improve their communities and our nation. We understand you don’t have to wear a uniform for service or sacrifice.” Army Maj. Drew Dix (ret.) in the Military Times.

They are heroes whose lives and valor should never be forgotten. Many are names familiar to us from recent awards, others familiar from history. But their sacrifice should be a reminder to each of us – heroes don’t always wear the medal of honor, but to the ones who do, we salute you.


There are three different versions of the Medal of Honor for different branches.

Featured photo via Twitter

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