What is the Medal of Honor Celebration?
Each year the Congressional Medal of Honor Society selects a host city in which the Recipients come together to remember and celebrate the great sacrifices made by American men and women around the world in defense of our great nation. During the Celebration the Recipients of the Medal of Honor reconnect with each other, solemnly commemorate those Recipients who have passed, conduct Society business, and engage the local community. Knoxville earned the honor of hosting this extraordinary annual event in 2014 and is fortunate to have been selected by the Society to host the 2022 Medal of Honor Celebration.
Created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest, and rarest, military decoration. It is bestowed by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, upon members of the Unites States armed forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against the enemy of the United States." Since its inception, just over 3500 individuals have been awarded the medal. There are currently fewer than 70 living recipients. This is one of the lowest levels in history.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Chartered by Congress in 1958, The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is comprised exclusively of Recipients of the Medal of Honor – those who have been recognized by their peers as having gone above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of their own lives to protect their fellow service members. The Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to sharing the values of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients through outreach, education, and research. As the number of living Medal of Honor Recipients continues to decrease, the Society’s mission has become increasingly important, and the Recipients are committed to continuing the work.
The Character Development Program
The CDP is the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's free educational outreach program.
The Medal of Honor Character Development Program (CDP) is a free educational resource which teaches courage, commitment, integrity, sacrifice, citizenship, and patriotism to students through educationally grounded lessons developed by teachers for teachers. These six core values are embodied in the Medal of Honor and exemplified in the actions for which it has been awarded.
The CDP is a flexible, cross-curricular resource, which uses age-appropriate short oral histories of Medal of Honor Recipients and citizen heroes, to show students how to use the six core values to influence change in their own communities.
The Valor Outreach Program
The Valor Outreach Program is the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's community and veteran outreach program.
The Medal of Honor and its Recipients inspire awe. Meeting a Recipient in person or hearing a Recipient speak makes a lasting impact.
The Valor Outreach Program is on the frontline, pairing Medal of Honor Recipients with military, veteran, community, and corporations that embrace the values of the Medal of Honor: Courage, Integrity, Commitment, Sacrifice, Citizenship and Patriotism. It is one of many ways that Recipients fulfill the Society’s mission of promoting the legacy of the medal of honor and campaigning the values.
Through in-person and virtual events, Recipients share their unique insights on character, leadership, patriotism, integrity, resiliency, and adjustment to civilian life. While not trained clinicians, they use their personal experiences to engage through motivation, inspiration, and mentorship.
Learn more at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society