The Medal of Honor is More Than a Game
As kids, when we hear Medal of Honor we think of the popular video game by that name. The real Medal of Honor is far from a game and regardless of your age should be given our highest respect. So kids, take just a moment away from your games and read this short article so that when you hear the words “Medal of Honor,” you will realize that it is the highest decoration than can be bestowed on any individual serving, or who has served in the United States Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corp. or Coast Guard.
The Medal of Honor was enacted by President Abraham Lincoln in December 1861. Originally this honor recognized Navy and Marine Corps enlisted men. In 1862 the Medal of Honor was extended to recognize both enlisted men and officers of all military services.
The Medal is attached to a blue ribbon with 13 white stars that set just above the medal itself. The medal is worn at its place of honor, above all other ribbons on ones uniform. For formal occasions the medal is worn around the neck.
There have been several versions of the medal of honor, such as: 1862–95 Army version, 1862–1912 Navy version, 1896–1903 Army version, 1913–42 Navy version, 1904–44 Army version, 1919–42 Navy “Tiffany Cross” version, Post 1944 Army version, Post 1942 Navy version.
The Medal of Honor is Awarded by the President
The President of the United States, is authorized to award and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor that is of an appropriate design, with it’s ribbons and appurtenances. The award may only be presented to a person that as a member of our military services, “distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”
According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, there have been 3,493 Medals of Honor. The CHOHS website list 79 living recipients and 19 double recipients of this highest award. The most recent recipient at the time of this article was presents posthumously to First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing, who served and distinguished himself during the American Civil War.
There are federal laws against a non-recipient of the Medal of Honor to wear it. It is also a violation to sell and/or manufacture a Medal of Honor, with fines up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison.
It is not punishable to claim to have been awarded any medal for valor, unless the claim is made to receive benefits that one is not otherwise entitled to receive. This lack of punishment is no doubt a contributing factor to the numerous imposters that claim to be Medal of Honor recipients, including one former judge in the state of Illinois.
In 1990 the United States Congress designated March 25th of each year as “National Medal of Honor Day”