The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is calling upon the American public to nominate their fellow citizens for the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors. It is the first time all 109 living Medal of Honor recipients have banded together to create a national platform to promote “service before self.” The Above & Beyond Citizen Honors will recognize ordinary Americans who have become extraordinary through their selflessness. The awards will be presented at a March ceremony in Washington, DC to be hosted by Brian Williams and televised on MSNBC.
The honors are unique, because they are personally presented to unsung heroes by our nations most honored heroes, the 109 living Medal of Honor recipients themselves.
The live event will be taped on National Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2008, at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. and feature honorary co-chairs, President Bill Clinton, President George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State General Colin Powell.
“We hope that this unique honor will help establish, support and recognize the profound notion that within each and every person lies the potential to challenge one’s own destiny and change the world.” said Paul Bucha, a Medal of Honor recipient and Above & Beyond designate from the Society. “The Medal of Honor recipients are ordinary people who, one time in their lives, faced circumstances when they decided that destiny, as they understood it to be, was unacceptable. They found within themselves the potential to literally change fate. This same potential resides in every American and it is worthy of respect and celebration without the need of a medal or a uniform.”
After a nationwide search and selection process for the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors, the Society will select 50 Finalists to represent their respective states. Each of the 50 Above & Beyond Citizen Honors Finalists will be invited to the gala in Washington, D.C. to represent their state. From these remarkable Americans, the Society will announce three Above & Beyond Citizen Honors recipients at the show, and their remarkable stories of hope and courage will be broadcast to the nation.
Nominations for the honors will be accepted through December 16. For information on the nomination process, visit the Above & Beyond website. Short videos on each of the 50 finalists will be available on the website before the televised event, along with extended video packages of the three Above & Beyond Citizen Honors recipients.
“I am proud to take part in this announcement and celebration. The Above & Beyond Citizen Honors recognizes the notion that regular Americans – no matter what their background or circumstances – have the potential to change the world through acts of selflessness and courage,” said Honorary Co-Chair & Former President George H.W. Bush. “I believe that the determination and selflessness of these ordinary American citizens who will be celebrated and saluted by our nations greatest heroes, will guide, inspire and help unite us as Americans, as we move into the next Century.”