Celebrating National Medal Of Honor Day

Celebrating National Medal Of Honor Day

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Please join in celebration today, March 25, as we commemorate National Medal of Honor Day.

The US Congress first designated this date as National Medal of Honor Day in 1990, and President George H.W. Bush—a man who knew something of wartime courage—signed it into law. The day is intended to “foster public appreciation and recognition” of the 3,506 men and one woman who have received the nation’s highest military honor.

Many cities recognize the day with a “Moment of Honor” at 3:25pm to reflect on the bravery of past and present recipients of the Medal of Honor. People across the country are encouraged to fly the flag this day. Recipients also a wreath each March 25 at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, which has reopened on a limited basis earlier this month after being closed for almost a year due to COVID restrictions.

Why was March 25 selected as the date? During the Civil War, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton distributed the first Medals of Honor on that day in 1863. He presented them to six members of a raid deep in Confederate territory to steal a train and destroy the track behind them as they sped north, all part of a plan to prevent reinforcements from interfering with an attempted capture of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Stanton handed the very first medal to Private Jacob Parrott of the 33rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. AUSA will celebrate that first recipient and the raid with a new issue in the graphic novel series. Medal of Honor: Jacob Parrott will be released this spring, followed by three more titles that will tell the tales of Army heroes from Korea, World War I, and Vietnam.

Stay tuned in the months ahead for more details of the publications. The individual books will be released digitally at www.ausa.org/moh, and a paperback collection of all four issues will be published in time for AUSA’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition in October.

For more information on the graphic novels and other elements of the AUSA Book Program, please visit www.ausa.org/books.