Nine South Dakotans receive Medal of Honor award

Medal Of Honor Day

Photo credit: South Dakota National Guard

Today is Medal of Honor Day, a special day set aside to honor all recipients of the Medal of Honor.

The National Medal of Honor Museum explains that this award was established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest recognition of valor in combat. Earned through every major conflict in our nation’s history since the Civil War, the Medal of Honor commemorates those who were willing to risk their lives to protect and serve our country and the ideals we hold most dear.

This date was chosen because the first Medal of Honor was presented on March 25, 1863, during the Civil War. Every March 25th commemorates the six-character trait pillars, courage, sacrifice, patriotism, citizenship, integrity, and commitment espoused by Medal of Honor recipients, according to the Patriot Post.

Congress passed a bill in 1990 to declare the holiday, which became Public Law 101-564 after President George H.W. Bush’s signature. National Medal of Honor Day was recognized for the first time in 1991.

The South Dakota National Guard remembers all those who went above and beyond the call of duty. Nine South Dakotans have received the Medal of Honor including Captain Willibald C. Bianchi, General Patrick H. Brady, Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble, Private First Class Herbert A. Littleton, Captain Arlo L. Olson, Brigadier General Charles D. Roberts, Colonel Leo K. Thorsness, Specialist Four Michael J. Fitzmaurice, and Captain Joe J. Foss. Specialist Four Fitzmaurice and Captain Foss served in the South Dakota National Guard After their active duty time ended.

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