We all know that the Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for bravery, and we rightly hold all who have received it in the highest respect.
Over time, we have seen many stories concerning the valor of those who have received the MOH since its inception in the Civil War. We have witnessed in each of these MOH recipients stories the rarest kinds of bravery performed under the most trying of circumstances.
And we humbly honor that uncommon valor with an appropriate awe.
While it is true that those MOH recipients are just like us, we also know that they have modeled a level of behavior that is beyond the norm. They chose to put others before themselves and to act in their defense when it was most difficult and most needed. In that one sense, they are a model for all of us.
This video gives a short and informative perspective on this award’s history and its changing designs since its inception 156 years ago.
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The Navy was the first to use it. Since 1862 it has been awarded to some 3,522 sailors, soldiers, airmen Coast Guardsmen and Marines. Each of their stories from the beginning in the Civil War to the present moment, have inspired us with undaunted courage and self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming odds.
Each Medal of Honor recipient has given us an example of what being a person for others looks like. They have taught us what it takes to answer the ancient question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” with a selfless and resounding, “Yes!”
Though this video is not about individual Medal of Honor recipients, it will reveal the high purpose of the MOH. It is a matter of a long and honored history of the valor and the commitment to duty, honor and country that has made this country what it is.
The Veterans Site offers a slow hand salute to all who have received the Medal of Honor. Honor, Respect and Eternal Thanks.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.