The same foundation that honors acts of wartime valor (with the Congressional Medal of Honor) seeks to also celebrate “unsung heroes” or citizens who’ve selflessly put the lives of others first through an act of heroism. And, as Scouts pledge to “help other people at all times,” it’s likely that you know of a Scout, Venturer or fellow Scouter deserving this great distinction.
Nominate this person today — the Jan. 10 deadline is approaching fast. Nominees must be age 18 or older, and this person’s act of selflessness must have occurred in the last three years. Nominees who are deceased are eligible. Find more details regarding the nominating criteria here.
This award is one of the most prestigious civilian community service awards in America. Every day in this country, ordinary Americans become extraordinary. It can happen in a single instance of bravery, or through a lifetime of service to others. These acts of courage and self-sacrifice symbolize the American spirit, and are recognized every year on National Medal of Honor Day, by our nation’s greatest heroes.
WHO CAN NOMINATE: Anyone who is aware of a fellow citizen, neighbor, co-worker, or ordinary American, a hero among us, who without the expectation of fame or reward, has placed others before self in some extraordinary way.
WHO CAN BE NOMINATED: Any United States civilian who through a singular act of extraordinary heroism, or through a prolonged series of selfless acts, clearly demonstrated a willingness to place his or her own life at risk for others. In all cases, the actions being honored must epitomize the concept of “service above self” and must be performed “above and beyond” one’s professional or vocational area of responsibility or conduct.
Click here to nominate someone to the Citizen Honors Award.
Citizen Honors Selection Process
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation forms panel, which will include Medal of Honor recipient representation to consider all nominations and select 20 national finalists. From among those finalists, a second panel of Medal of Honor recipients will select three individuals to receive Citizen Honors at a ceremony on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 to be held at Arlington Cemetery near the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, VA.
Past recipients in 2013 included Jesse Shaffer III and Jesse Shaffer IV of Illinois who saved 120 people from Hurricane Sandy; Marcos Ugarte of Oregon who saved a young boy from a burning house, and Monsignor Joe Carroll of California who opened a transitional housing program for healthcare, job training, counseling, and food.
To be considered for this rare civilian honor, nominees must have made a difference in the lives of others through a singular act of extraordinary heroism, or through their continued commitment to putting others first. For Americans, this is an opportunity to nominate fellow citizens, neighbors and co-workers-the heroes all around you. Three remarkable citizens will be chosen to receive the Citizen Honors on March 25, 2014 in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day.
The site selected for this historic ceremony is the ultimate symbol of anonymous heroism – the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The anonymous soldiers who have found eternal rest in the Tomb have been presented with our nation’s highest award for valor in combat, The Medal of Honor. On the east side of the Tomb is a sculpture of three Greek citizens, each representing the virtues of Peace, Victory and Valor. To show the link between anonymous heroism in and out of uniform, the Society has placed these figures on the Citizen Honors medals.
The Citizen Honors program was previously known as the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors and is sometimes referred to as the Citizen Service Before Self Honors. Despite the slight name change to better reflect the award’s intentions, the prestige, selection criteria and process, and support by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society have not altered.
Author: Liz Merrell | Sr. Development Director, Utah National Parks Council