National Medal of Honor Day on March 25th recognizes all Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the highest military award for valor in the United States and was created in 1861.
On March 25, 1863, Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton presented the first Medals of Honor (Army) to six members of “Andrews Raiders” for their volunteering and participation during an American Civil War raid in April of 1862.
The Medal of Honor is awarded only to US military personnel by the President of the United States in the name of Congress for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
There are three versions of the Medal of Honor; one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force; Personnel of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
Since its creation, 3,468 Medals of Honor have been awarded to the country’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coastguardsmen.
HOW TO OBSERVE MEDAL OF HONOR DAY
- Some federal, state, local, and military organizations may hold events recognizing Medal of Honor recipients. These events may be public or private.
- Volunteering for your local veteran organization
- Donate to a veteran service organization
- Adopt a Medal of Honor gravesite
- Fly the U.S. flag at your home or business
- Visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Visit local memorial sites
- Use #MedalOfHonorDay to post on social media.