Congressional Medal of Honor Society will host 2021 convention in Boston
BOSTON - January 22, 2021 - The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that the Society will hold its annual convention and Patriot Award Dinner in Boston for an unprecedented fourth time in September 2021.
Many of the nation's 69 living Medal of Honor Recipients will be in Boston from September 7-11.
"Our great city is honored to host our nation's most brave and valiant heroes and the recipients of our country's highest honor for an unprecedented fourth time,'' said Mayor Walsh. "Like the hundreds of thousands of Bostonians who have served our country, from the Revolutionary War to the present, these Medal of Honor Recipients are shining examples of courage, bravery and sacrifice. Their selfless dedication and service are the foundation of the liberties and freedoms we enjoy today.''
The Medal of Honor Convention is expected to be a modest gathering of 50 to 60 living Medal of Honor Recipients and their guests, for about 100 to 150 people total. Organizers are prepared to adapt their plans for the fall depending on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic as the event nears. The convention could be pushed to a later date or scaled back if gathering restrictions remain in place.
The Medal of Honor Recipients held their first Boston convention in October 2001 a month after postponing the event because of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Medal of Honor Society was the first organization to reschedule their Boston convention following 9/11.
The Medal of Honor Recipients returned to Boston in 2006 and were again welcomed warmly by the city. Their 2015 convention marked the first time the Medal of Honor Recipients held their convention three times in the same city. The Boston 2021 visit will be an unprecedented fourth visit by the Medal of Honor Society.
"These Medal of Honor Recipients have formed a strong bond with the city and people of Boston and to be able to honor them here for the fourth time in 20 years is unprecedented in the history of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society,'' said Thomas J. Lyons, Chairman of the Boston Congressional Medal of Honor Society Host Committee. "The duties and sacrifices they have made on behalf of the nation, and their unwavering support for our men and women in uniform, is awe inspiring and we intend to host their convention in a manner that will truly honor and celebrate these incredible heroes.''
While in Boston, the Recipients will be involved in several public events and will also be visiting area schools.
"The Medal of Honor recipients are thrilled to be coming back to Boston,'' said Thomas G. Kelley of Massachusetts, a retired Navy Captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant and courageous actions in Vietnam on June 15, 1969. "The outpouring of warmth we experienced in our previous conventions in Boston left an indelible impression on all of us."
"We are excited that my fellow Recipients will return to Boston this September and once again enjoy all that the city has to offer and the warm reception we are likely to receive again by the greater Boston community,'' said Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan M. Pitts, a Lowell native who now resides in New Hampshire, and who received the Medal of Honor for his gallant and courageous actions as an Army Sergeant in Afghanistan on July 13, 2008. "We don't consider ourselves to be heroes. The heroes are the ones who did not come home. We wear the medal to honor them, as well as all the men and women who have served and continue to serve.''
The 2021 convention will culminate with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award Dinner on Sept. 11 at the Seaport Hotel Boston where the Recipients will present several awards to honorees who have shown exceptional service to the country and for their commitment to our veterans and men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.
About the Medal of Honor
Created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Medal of Honor is our nation's highest and rarest military decoration. It is bestowed by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, upon a member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against the enemy of the United States." Fewer than 3,500 individuals have received the Medal, half of which have been awarded posthumously. There are currently only 69 living recipients, one of the lowest numbers in history.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
In 1958, the United States Congress chartered the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. The purpose of the Society, among other things, is to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal of Honor. The living recipients of the Medal of Honor constitute the members of the Society. These recipients meet annually for their national Medal of Honor Convention.