By Courtney Wittmann, Office of the Chief of Public Affiars- MidwestDecember 15, 2008
Chicago, Ill. - The Medal of Honor host committee held an event to officially introduce the Congressional Medal of Honor Society 2009 Annual Convention at Edelman Public Relations in Chicago, Ill. Wednesday, December 10.
The committee revealed the theme, Commit to Courage, with medal recipients, John F. Baker and Allen J. Lynch, and announced the primary sponsor, The Boeing Company.
The theme Commit to Courage will develop understanding in schools, students and the general public through stories of recipient sacrifice and allegiance to the United States of America. "The theme will be reflected in all the activities and messages to our community planned for the weeklong Convention in September 2009" wrote Mayor Richard M. Daley, Honorary Convention Chair.
Presenting partners, Edward C. Tracy, Executive Director, Tawani Foundation, and Lisa M. Moeller, President & COO, USO of Illinois, debuted a series of public events and opportunities taking place during 2009 to honor and recognize medal of Honor recipients. "Throughout the year and for a week next September, the City of Chicago and the state of Illinois will have the unique opportunity to promote the positive message the Medal of Honor recipients inspire" said Illinois recipient and Medal of Honor Society Liaison, Allen Lynch.
Chicago, the city of "big shoulders", is an appropriate host for the 2009 Annual Convention, according to Lynch, because of its overflowing support for the military. The convention will generate "excellent opportunities for this city to recognize these great heroes and show people how important they are" said MG John E. Scully (Ret.), Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Illinois.
The Convention will be held in Chicago September 15-19, 2009. An opening ceremony at Soldier Field will kick off the Convention Tuesday, September 15, 2009 followed by five days of public and private events honoring recipients.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for military valor and was established by Congress and approved by President Lincoln in 1862. Since the Civil War, 3,448 individuals have been presented the prestigious award- a large percentage posthumously- and today there are fewer than 100 living recipients. As many as 60 recipients are expected to visit Chicago for the 2009 Annual Convention to attend various outreach events.
"These are ordinary men who were called to do extraordinary things in combat," said Tracy. "Through these stories, more people are understanding Soldiers commitment and sacrifice."