Today is Medal of Honor Monday – The Medal of Honor was created by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in 1861 as America’s highest military honor. Since its creation, there have been 3,468 Medals of Honor awarded to the country’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen. The first Medal of Honor was presented on March 25, 1863.
The official Medal of Honor Day was first created by President George Bush on March 25, 1990, to salute our US military recipients of our nations military award for bravery. From the branches of military service there have been 2,404 for the Army, 746 for the Navy, with the Marines awarded 297 and the Air Force with 17 recipients, Coast Guard 1.
There have been 19 two-time recipients: Tom Custer, General George Custer’s bother, one woman, Dr. Mary Walker, Wild West Legend Buffalo Bill Cody, two father and son duos, father and son recipients were Lt. Arthur MacArthur (Civil War) and his son General Douglas MacArthur (WWII) and Lt. Col. (later President) Theodore Roosevelt (Spanish American War) and his son Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., four conscientious objectors, Alvin York (WWI), Desmond Doss (WWII), Thomas Bennet (Viet Nam), Joseph LaPointe (Viet Nam) and with one US President Teddy Roosevelt amongst all of the recipients. Texan Audie Murphy, of WWII fame was the highest decorated soldier to date. The youngest was 11 years old during the Civil War. Douglas Munro from the Coast Guard is their only recipient and credited with saving 500 US Marines in WWII.
To date, there are 73 living recipients, four earned their Medals of Honor in World War II, five in the Korean War, 51 in the Vietnam War, and 13 in the War in Afghanistan. One earned his medal while serving in the U.S. Air Force, 51 in the U.S. Army, 13 in the U.S. Marine Corps, and 8 in the U.S. Navy.
In World War II, Jacklyn H. Lucas, a Marine, jumped on two grenades tossed his way to save his fellow Marines and lived to tell the tale. This is one of many presidential citations that will bring you to tears, as you read about the heroic and fearless deeds done in acts of gallantry, above and beyond the call of duty.
We salute the American men and women, service personnel at home and around the world.
“America, it would not be the land of the free, if it were not the home of the brave.”
Academy Award Nominee – Burt Reynolds, “Medal of Honor” Series in conjunction with the Medal of Honor Society and past MOHS President Paul Bucha.