Medal of Honor Recipient Reflects on the Meaning Behind the Historic Medal

Brian Thacker, Medal of Honor Recipient

Brian Miles Thacker, retired First Lieutenant of the U.S. Army and Medal of Honor recipient, said there is a weight associated with the historic medal he carries.

“It’s an ‘us’ award, not a ‘me’ award,” Thacker said. “We saved some, but not all. It’s those that didn’t come home that are the burden. I think of them every day.”

In a recent interview with John Reid for Qorvis’ Focus Washington, Thacker discussed the criteria of the Congressional Medal of Honor, his fellow medal recipients and the upcoming Medal of Honor convention, to be held in Gettysburg, Penn. September 19-21.

“We look at the Convention as not only an opportunity to get together, but also an opportunity to meet with the communities that made us,” Thacker said. “To talk with the small town America — the block if you’re in the city — get down to the people level, as opposed to the leadership level.”

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society gathers each year to reunite living recipients as they continue their legacy of inspiring America’s youth, honoring patriots and exemplary citizens, and memorializing fellow recipients who have passed. This year, more than 45 recipients of the U.S. military’s highest honor will convene in Gettysburg for the planned events. There are several events open to the public, listed here.

Gettysburg is an especially unique location for this year’s convention as 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the awarding of the first Medal of Honor in March of 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg, where sixty-three Medals were awarded, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

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