Today is National Medal of Honor Day, a special day set aside to honor all recipients of the Medal of Honor — the United States’ highest military decoration.
Every March 25 commemorates the six-character trait pillars, courage, sacrifice, patriotism, citizenship, integrity, and commitment espoused by Medal of Honor recipients.
Congress passed a bill in 1990 to declare the holiday, which became Public Law 101-564 after President George H.W. Bush’s signature. National Medal of Honor Day was recognized for the first time in 1991.
Today is National Medal of Honor Day. Learn about how recipients @USArmy Sgt. William Fournier and Technician Fifth Grade Lewis Hall protected their unit at Guadalcanal in 1943. Both men refused to withdraw and manned a machine gun, allowing an attacking battalion to succeed. pic.twitter.com/97qY9lNFHB
— Veterans Affairs (@DeptVetAffairs) March 25, 2020
The Medal of Honor was awarded for the first time on March 25, 1863 to Jacob Parrott for his actions in the April 1862 Great Locomotive Chase.
The medal is an emblem of heroism and sacrifice. It is granted to those who “have distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty.”
Today is National #MedalOfHonor Day.
The first Medals of Honor were awarded on March 25, 1863.
Each branch of the U.S. military awards the Medal of Honor to those who have distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” above and beyond the call of duty. pic.twitter.com/u9MShxiQVj
— 1st Cavalry Division (@1stCavalryDiv) March 25, 2020
It has been awarded to more than 3,500 heroes, according to the National Medal of Honor museum.
Of those 3,500 recipients, only one woman has received the honor.
This National Medal of Honor Day, we celebrate the only woman to receive this medal — Dr. Mary Walker. This is the nation’s most prestigious military decoration. Learn more about Dr. Walker’s accomplishments here: https://t.co/Iwnj6Ct0K0 #MedalOfHonorDay #WomensHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/JZr9e9MN1p
— Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (@DCSAgov) March 25, 2020
There are three different versions of the medal; one each for the Army, Air Force, and Navy.
It is the only military honor that is worn around the neck, and garners such respect that all ranks of the military traditionally salute the recipient.