The Medal of Honor

Above L-R: Navy Medal of Honor, Air Force Medal of Honor, Army Medal of Honor

In 2001, I made my first visit to our Nation's capital city, Washington, D.C. While there among the stately memorials to those great men who helped shape our Country, our Founding Fathers whose names are known to all, I visited the National Cemetery at Arlington. Eschewing the bus tour of the cemetery, I felt it appropriate to honor the memories of the valiant warriors buried there by walking the paths and reading the names on the markers aloud. These were the names of the great men who helped shape our Country, whose names are known to few, but whose deeds resonate through history. This was a very moving experience, and I am again moved as I write this account. These were the men to whom I owe everything, the brave souls to whom I owe my very freedom. While the hours allowed me to walk only a small portion of the vast cemetery, I felt the weight of the names of these Heroes. I felt the hearts of these fallen soldiers calling out to me over the years, asking what I knew of sacrifice. I felt the shame of one who has been handed the greatest and freest Country in the history of man, only to watch the erosion of those very rights which those who lay beneath the markers fought and died to protect. I felt (and still feel) unworthy of the sacrifice made for me by these great men. I am only one of many who sleep beneath the blanket of freedom won for me by men greater than I will ever be, one who lives under the liberty paid for by the blood of patriots and heroes, one who has never been asked to make any substantive sacrifice on behalf of his country. I resolved there and then to do whatever was within my power to stop the erosion of our Constitutional freedoms, and to never forget to honor those who made it possible for me to live in a Country like the United States of America. honors the service of all members of the military services, past and present, for their role in obtaining and maintaining the freedoms that define America. Most of our present generation has never had to endure the sounds of enemy artillery or wonder whether we would survive to see our loved ones again, and has no idea of the meaning of the word "sacrifice". Most of us, who have never known the hardships of war or the threat of tyranny from external forces, cannot conceive of the courage and selflessness embodied in the persons of our war veterans.

This courage and selflessness is perhaps best exemplified by those who have been chosen for our Country's highest honor. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Often called the Congressional Medal of Honor, many incorrectly assume that the Medal is always awarded by special action of Congress, but it is generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.

We at believe that the Heroes who helped establish and shape our Nation must be honored, their names and their deeds must be remembered, for our Country to endure. With the cooperation of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, I am linking to their excellent full-text listings of Medal of Honor citations. Here are recounted the deeds that made history, the deeds that made Heroes out of Soldiers, the deeds that have made about 3,400 of the millions who have served in America's armed forces stand out in valor. Please take the time to read the names and deeds told here, as they are worth remembering. You will be moved, as I was, to read the accounts of the acts of bravery and honor that helped keep our Country free. Only by remembering the great deeds of the past can we know who we are, and only by reflecting on the great price of Liberty can we know how precious that Liberty is today.

Boge Quinn

The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation's bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration's creation in 1861. 

For years, the citations highlighting these acts of bravery and heroism resided in dusty archives and only sporadically were printed. In 1973, the U.S. Senate ordered the citations compiled and printed as Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973). This book was later updated and reprinted in 1979. 

The breakdown of these is a duplicate of that in the congressional compilation. Likewise, some minor misspelling and other errors are duplicated from the official government volume. These likely were the result of the original transcriptions. The full-text files are indexed chronologically by war, and alphabetically within each file.

NOTE: Names marked with an asterisk (*) denotes posthumous award.

U.S. Army Center of Military History - Medal of Honor Recipients

Above L-R: Navy Medal of Honor, Air Force Medal of Honor, Army Medal of Honor

Visit the U.S. Army Center of Military History, an excellent resource of military history. It is a fascinating site, we are sure you will enjoy it!

U.S. Army Center of Military History

Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.

Thanks for stopping by!