NEW ORLEANS (December 7, 2022) — The National WWII Museum will host the 2023 Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention, the largest annual gathering of Medal of Honor Recipients, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Convention is one of our country’s most prestigious and patriotic events, providing unique opportunities for the public to engage with Recipients and be inspired to embody the values of the Medal of Honor in their own lives. Presented by the Stephen G. and Regina Oswald Foundation, the 2023 Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) Convention will take place from October 31 through November 4 with Medal of Honor Recipients reuniting in New Orleans to enjoy regional cultural attractions and share their stories of service with local students, veterans, active-duty military and community members.
“The National WWII Museum is honored to host the 2023 Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention along with the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana,” said Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO. “The Museum and the Society are dedicated to preserving and sharing the legacies of ordinary individuals who had the courage to do extraordinary things when faced with unthinkable circumstances. Through the 2023 Convention, we will work together to advance our missions to educate and inspire audiences through these stories of valor, from World War II and all other conflicts. As we recognize 160 years since the Medal of Honor was first awarded, it will be a distinct privilege to welcome Medal of Honor Recipients to our city and to learn firsthand of their courage, dedication and sacrifice for our nation.”
The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest military award for valor in action, presented to those who have demonstrated gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty. These distinguished individuals are set apart by their integrity and deep love of country, their courage and sacrifice. Since it was first awarded in 1863, 3,534 Medals of Honor have been bestowed on our nation’s bravest, and today, there are 64 living Recipients.
To formally announce the host site of the 2023 CMOHS Convention, the Museum held a special flag raising during today’s public ceremony commemorating the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Medal of Honor Recipient Britt Kelly Slabinski, a retired US Navy Master Chief who served in the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan, participated in the commemoration, which recognized the 16 individuals who earned the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions on the “date which will live in infamy” as the United States was plunged into World War II. Of those 16 servicemen, 11 received the Medal of Honor posthumously. In total, 472 Medals were awarded for actions throughout World War II; the last living Recipient from World War II, Marine Corps retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, passed away in June 2022, highlighting the importance of efforts like the CMOHS Convention to ensure the values of the Medal of Honor are fostered in all generations.
“Medal of Honor Recipients participate in an annual meeting to connect with their fellow Recipients, memorialize those we’ve lost over the past year and to connect with the local community,” said Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Petry, President of the Congressional Gold Medal Society. “We are thrilled and grateful to have The National WWII Museum host us this year, particularly after having just lost Woody Williams, the last World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. We look forward to immersing ourselves in this historical environment and positively engaging with the community next fall.”
The weeklong CMOHS Convention will include a series of public and private events that provide opportunities for Medal of Honor Recipients to connect with one another as well as the regional community. In addition to meetings and evening events, Convention activities will include a Museum open house and block party for local families and the military community, as well as the highly anticipated Patriot Awards Gala, where the Society will honor individuals who promote the founding principles of our nation through their life’s work.
In the months leading up to the Convention, Medal of Honor Recipients will participate in additional Museum and community events, including teacher training sessions and outreach to active-duty military and veterans. The Medal of Honor Character Development Program provides teachers with lessons and activities that explore the concepts of courage, commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity and citizenship—as well as how these values can be exemplified in daily life. In September 2022, the Museum welcomed 35 local educators to its campus for a full-day training with Medal of Honor Recipient Brian Thacker, a former US Army Lieutenant who served in the Vietnam War.
Another training session will be held for middle and high school teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the Museum. Educators can register for the free in-person training at cmohs.org/training. During the fall 2023 Convention, Medal of Honor Recipients will visit local schools that participate in the Character Development Program, bringing the lessons to life for area students. Additionally, the Valor Outreach Program will connect Medal of Honor Recipients with military servicemembers, veterans and the community at large to share their unique insights and personal experiences.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today — so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, the institution celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information on Tripadvisor’s #1 New Orleans attraction, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944, or visit nationalww2museum.org.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, inspiring Americans, and supporting the Recipients as they connect with communities across the country. Chartered by Congress in 1958, its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. There are 64 living Recipients.
The Society carries out its mission through outreach, education and preservation programs, including the Medal of Honor Museum, Congressional Medal of Honor Outreach Programs, the Congressional Medal of Honor Character Development Program, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors Awards for Valor and Service. The Society’s programs and operations are funded by donations.
Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at cmohs.org.