Beliefnet
Medal of Honor

Established during the Civil War, the Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration bestowed by the US government upon members of the Armed Forces. It is awarded for “gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty” and is often awarded posthumously. In fact, since the Vietnam war, only one soldier has been alive to receive the medal, Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, who was awarded it for overcoming intense enemy fire in Afghanistan in order to rescue a fellow captured soldier.

The Medal of Honor is not only the greatest patriotic symbol we possess, it is also a modern day representation of one of the oldest, most noble marks of character. In John 15:13, Christ says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” The Medal of Honor is given to men and women who put that simple yet profoundly challenging call into action. It is a mark of heroism, but it is also poses a powerful question to those of us not in military service: are you willing to lay your life down for your fellow man?

In commemoration of National Medal of Honor Day, we present the following stories from Medal of Honor recipients. May they challenge, encourage, and inspire you to be great.

Medal of Honor Recipient George Sakato

George Sakato served in the United States Army as part of the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in Biffontaine, France, October 1944.

Medal of Honor: George Sakato

Medal of Honor Recipient Desmond Doss

Desmond Doss served in the United States Army during World War II. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on Okinawa, Japan, May 1945.

Medal of Honor: Desmond Doss

Medal of Honor Recipient George O’Brien

George O’Brien served in the United States Marine Corps during The Korean War. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on the 38th Parallel, Korea in October of 1952.

Medal of Honor: George OBrien

Medal of Honor Recipient Clarence Sasser

Clarence Sasser served in the United States Army during Vietnam. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam in January of 1968.

Medal of Honor: Clarence Sasser