Congressional Medal of Honor Society Will Hold 2021 Convention in Boston Next Week
Congressional Medal of Honor Society Will Hold 2021 Convention in Boston Next Week
Many of the nation’s 67 living Medal of Honor Recipients
will be in Boston for an unprecedented fourth time
BOSTON – September 2, 2021– Many of the nation’s Medal of Honor Recipients will be in Boston next week for an unprecedented fourth time when the Congressional Medal of Honor Society holds its annual convention, which will include its Citizen Honors Awards for Valor and its Patriot Awards Gala.
Medal of Honor Recipients will participate in a number of public events, including school visits, a harbor cruise on USS Constitution, and the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the South Boston Vietnam Memorial.
For the first time ever outside of Washington, D.C., the Society will host its Citizen Honors Awards for Valor at the Seaport Hotel on Friday, Sept. 10. Rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these awards are made to ordinary Americans who exemplify the values embodied in the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, commitment, integrity, citizenship, and patriotism. Of the seven citizen recipients from 2020 and 2021, five of the awards will presented posthumously.
“The Medal of Honor Recipients have formed a strong bond with Boston and the people of Massachusetts and to be able to have them here for the fourth time in 20 years – and to also host their Citizen Honors Awards for Valor - is an honor felt across the Commonwealth,’’ said Thomas J. Lyons, Chairman of the Boston Medal of Honor Convention Host Committee. “The service and sacrifices they have made on behalf of the nation, and their unwavering support for our men and women in uniform, is awe inspiring and we intend to host their convention in a manner that will truly honor and celebrate these incredible heroes and support their mission to make sure all our veterans receive the care and services they deserve.’’
“The Medal of Honor Recipients are thrilled to be coming back to Boston next week,’’ said Recipient and Massachusetts resident Thomas G. Kelley. “The outpouring of warmth we experienced in our three previous conventions left an indelible impression on all of us. I am especially excited that our most recent recipients from Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam who have not been here before will be able to experience the sense of patriotism and honor which is the hallmark of Boston,’’ added Kelley, a retired Navy Captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant and courageous actions in Vietnam on June 15, 1969.
“We are looking forward to visiting with Massachusetts students next week to promote and perpetuate the principles upon which our nation was founded, and meeting and sharing with your veterans and men and women in uniform our deep respect and appreciation of their service,” said Recipient and Medal of Honor Society President Drew D. Dix. “Pandemic disruptions caused us to postpone two of our annual Citizen Honors Awards for Valor events, but the Boston Host Committee rose to the occasion and incorporated those awards into the Boston convention. The birthplace of our struggle for independence by ordinary citizen Patriots from Massachusetts is a most appropriate location to recognize this generation’s citizens for valorous deeds.”
The events for media availability during the week include:
Monday, Sept. 6
Several Medal of Honor Recipients will be at the Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites Boston Seaport from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the dedication of its ballroom in honor of late Navy Commander and Chaplain Joseph T. O’Callahan, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in World War II about the USS Franklin in 1945. “Father Joe,” as many who knew him, was a Boston native and taught mathematics, physics, and philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester before and after the war. Recipient Tom Kelley, who knew Father O’Callahan when he was a student at Holy Cross, is expected to attend and will be available for interview. Also attending will be representatives from the hotel’s ownership group, Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, and Eamon O’Marah, a member of the hotel’s development team, part owner and Father O’Callahan’s great nephew. Media inquiries about the hotel should be directed to Dakeya Christmas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, Sept. 8
Massachusetts school visits from 9 to 11 a.m. Recipients will be flown to schools via Massachusetts National Guard Blackhawk helicopters, which will return the Recipients to the Boston Common baseball field bordering Beacon and Charles Streets approximately between 11:30 and noon. Recipients will visit Beverly High School, Catholic Memorial High School, Duxbury High School, Lawrence High School and Plymouth North High School. Media interested in covering visits inside the school should contact the school directly as some visits may not be open to media or visitors.
Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial Wreath Laying with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment Reenactors across from the State House at approximately noon. Recipients will recognize William Carney, whose actions during the 54th Regiment’s July 1863 attack on Fort Wagner in South Carolina were the first by an African American to result in the awarding of the Medal of Honor.
Friday, Sept. 10
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society will host its 2020 and 2021 Citizen Honors Awards for Valor at the Seaport Hotel from 6 to 10 p.m. Media interested in covering this event should contact Kristi Hellmuth at Kristi.email@example.com.
Saturday, Sept. 11
Recipients embark on USS Constitution for an 11 a.m. Boston Harbor cruise following a 9 a.m. 9/11 memorial ceremony at the Charlestown Navy Yard in collaboration with the National Parks Service and the USS Constitution Museum. The best viewing areas for the cruise include anywhere on the Boston Harborwalk between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. with the best viewing for the 12:30 p.m., 21-gun salute and flyover, on Castle Island in South Boston. Media interested in being aboard USS Constitution should contact Master Chief Petty Officer Elliott Fabrizio at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or 617-799-8198.
Sunday, Sept. 12
Medal of Honor Recipients will attend and speak at the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the South Boston Vietnam Memorial at Medal of Honor Park in South Boston, at 11:30 a.m. following a 10:30 a.m. memorial Mass at St. Brigid’s Church, 841 East Broadway.
The Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest award for military valor in action. First signed into law in 1861 during the Civil War, the Medal of Honor has just over 3,500 Recipients. The Medal is a distinguished award, presented to those who have shown gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, inspiring America and its Veterans, and supporting the Recipients as they connect with communities across the country. Chartered by Congress in 1958, its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. There are 66 living Recipients.
The Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that carries out its mission through outreach, education and preservation programs, including the Medal of Honor Museum, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Outreach Program, Congressional Medal of Honor Veterans Outreach Program, Congressional Medal of Honor Character Development Program, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors Awards.
As part of Public Law 106-83, the Medal of the Honor Memorial Act, the Medal of Honor Museum, which is co-located with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s headquarters on board the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., was designated as one of three national Medal of Honor sites.
Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at https://www.cmohs.org. You can follow the society on Instagram at @cmohsociety, on Facebook at @CMOHSociety, and on Twitter at @CMOH_Society.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Annual Convention
Once yearly, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society provides opportunities for Medal of Honor Recipients to reconnect and remember those who have passed while conducting Society business and engaging with the local community. The Medal of Honor Recipients held their first Boston convention in October 2001 a month after postponing the event because of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Medal of Honor Recipients returned to Boston in 2006 and were again welcomed warmly by the city. Their 2015 convention marked the first time the Medal of Honor Recipients held their convention three times in the same city. The Boston 2021 visit will be an unprecedented fourth visit by the Medal of Honor Society. For more information about the 2021 Medal of Honor Society Convention please visit www.mohboston.com, @bostonmoh on Twitter and Boston Medal of Honor Convention on Facebook.