The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest military award. Presented by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress to members of the U.S. Armed Services, it has been bestowed upon 3,469 heroes to date.
The Medal is awarded for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action, involving actual conflict with an opposing armed force.” Suspended by a ribbon, it is the only medal to be worn around the neck, and it is displayed above all other decorations.
There are actually three versions of the Medal of Honor: one each for the Army and the Air Force and third for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Medal of Honor on display in this exhibit was bestowed upon the Italian American Veterans Museum by the United States Army. Our Medal is showcased in a display that honors the 26 Italian-American recipients of our nation’s highest honor. Here are five of their stories.