Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Medal of Honor Convention

This week the big city has the honor of hosting the Medal of Honor Convention.

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award. To receive this medal, an individual must perform an act of personal bravery or self sacrifice, involving the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in a combat action.

There are currently only 95 living recipients of this award that, as written by Peter Collier, is earned only through acts of incredible bravery "at the intersection of happenstance and hell."

Today the big city copper had the honor of leading the motorcade escorting these living legends to the ceremonies being held in their honor.

The lead car, motorcycles, flanking cars, and tail cars surrounded the buses. They lit up the street but, with silent decorum, escorted them with full honors precision.

The fire department formed an archway with snorkels and ladders at the entrance to the park that the motorcade passed through. The escort halted at the Police Gold Star Memorial Park.

The path to the site of the Police Memorial Wall was lined with police officers on foot and on horseback. The Medal of Honor heroes, honored the police heroes by holding a ceremony at the memorial that lists the city's fallen officers.

The procession of old warriors continued on foot (some in wheelchairs) to a luncheon and more ceremonies inside the facility.

Following the finale, the men graciously signed books and chatted with all who approached them.

What a day! The air was rippling with patriotism. There were dozens of flags, there were even more soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen all proudly displaying rows of ribbons on their uniforms. Each ribbon depicting an act of their own personal valor.

Every soldier, currently serving, or aging veteran, stood in awe of these simple men. Humble men who, through extraordinary acts of courage and sacrifice, earned the right to wear that star spangled blue ribbon and star around their necks.

Escorting these men was an honor.


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