Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections
November 12, 1987

Orange County is the site for the 15th Biennial Convention of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, opening today and continuing through Saturday at the Irvine Hilton and Towers.

The society, comprised of living Medal of Honor recipients, was created in 1958 by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The goals of the society are to foster comradeship among medal holders; to protect, uphold and preserve the dignity and honor of the medal; to provide appropriate aid to medal recipients, their widows and children; to inspire youth, and to foster Americanism.

This is the first time the society's convention has been held in Orange County, and more than 200 members and their families are expected to attend. Activities will include a welcome reception and business meetings for members of the society and excursions throughout the county, culminating with a black-tie dinner on Saturday. Earlier that day, society members will be honored during a ceremony at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

The Medal of Honor, often called the Congressional Medal of Honor, is the highest award for bravery in the pyramid of awards and honors for U.S. military service. The medal is awarded for a deed of personal bravery or self-sacrifice, above and beyond the call of duty.

Established during the Civil War, the medal has been awarded more than 3,400 times. Since 1916, legislation and custom have led to regulations and procedures that seek to eliminate doubt or error in bestowing the award: The deed must be proved by incontestable evidence by at least two eyewitnesses; it must be so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes gallantry beyond the call of duty from other forms of bravery; it must involve the risk of life, and the deed must be such that if it had not been done it would not subject the individual to any justified criticism.

While the medal is usually given for deeds performed during a military action, Congress has on rare occasions awarded a special Medal of Honor for exploits during peacetime. Such medals were bestowed upon Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh for his nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 and to the four divers who rescued crewmen of the sunken submarine Squalus in 1939.

The Medal of Honor is awarded in the name of Congress. Awards to living recipients are normally presented by the President.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|