The Medal of Honor was established by an act of Congress on July 12, 1862, early in the American Civil War, to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” in combat with an enemy of the United States.
The Medal of Honor is usually presented by the President in a formal ceremony at the White House, intended to represent the gratitude of the American people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.
In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”. Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.
The Medal of Honor Roll was established by Act of Congress, April 27, 1916, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 560. It provides that each Medal of Honor awardee may have his name entered on the Medal of Honor Roll. Each person whose name is placed on the Roll is certified to the Veterans’ Administration as being entitled to receive a special pension of $100 per month for life, payable monthly by that agency. The payment of this special pension is in addition to, and does not deprive the pensioner of any other pension, benefit, right, or privilege to which he is or may thereafter be entitled. (more…)