On March 25, 1863, during the Civil War, the first Medal of Honor was awarded to Army Pvt. Jacob Parrott by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The Medal of Honor (MOH) was created by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 as the highest military honor to be given for courage on the battlefield. It is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of Congress for personal acts of courage beyond the call of duty. Since that day, there have been 3,526 Medals of Honor awarded.
There are three versions of the MOH: one for the Army, one for the Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard, and one for the Air Force. The celebration of an annual Medal of Honor Day began in 1990, when Congress designated March 25th each year to commemorate this award and those who have received it.
The Veterans Site has posted many Medal of Honor stories about men and the one woman who have been awarded the nation’s highest award for valor in the past. This video is a powerful and very personal collection of Medal of Honor recipients and their stories.
I think you will agree that these stories are incredible, but, more importantly, I think you will be struck by the universal humility, the abiding love of country and those they served with, which they all share. The actions these men undertook to protect their men in the midst of the fierce, wild hellishness of battle clearly show the depth of character, courage, and love they had for life and for their men in those intense moments under fire. I think you will see that that same solid core of character has remained with them throughout their lives. You will hear it in their voices and in their stories.
The Veteran Site asks you all to remember those 3,500-plus men and the one woman who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. But we believe that they would tell us to honor those they fought the good fight with and those who were lost on the field of battle. We must never forget that what these Medal of Honor recipients did was for their brothers and sisters in the field and, ultimately, for this nation. We are humbled by their courage and their dedication to life and liberty.