How do you celebrate someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, risking life to protect America’s freedom and received our nation’s highest military award?
For four days last month, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) gathered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for their annual convention to celebrate, honor and remember brave American heroes who unselfishly served our country. From start to finish, The Webster Group (TWG) was there working closely with CMOHS and Convention leadership to execute strategic event plans developed over the course of three years. Below is a recap of our festivities.
From September 18-22, over 40 of the 79 living Medal of Honor recipients gathered in Gettysburg. Why Gettysburg? The Convention coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (where 63 Medals of Honor were awarded), Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address and the 55th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s chartering of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. How cool is that?!
Convention festivities kicked off with a plaque dedication in downtown Gettysburg commemorating the recipients’ historic visit.
On Thursday, an outdoor lunch honoring wounded warriors was held at the historic Eisenhower Farm, followed by a Q&A with President Eisenhower’s granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower and author and journalist, Evan Thomas serving as moderator. Immediately following the lunch, a public autograph session was held; hundreds of members of the community came to this event for an opportunity to meet these American heroes. The busy day ended with a reception at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center, where recipients mingled with Civil War re-enactors.
On Friday, public events continued with a Town Hall Forum at Gettysburg College. Moderated by Chris Wallace, recipients Harvey “Barney” Barnum, Salvatore Giunta, and Clinton Romesha spoke and reflected on the impact the Medal has had on their lives. While the Town Hall was taking place, other recipients visited local schools to speak with children about the importance of character and patriotism. Friday evening over 1,000 attendees came out to a concert held at the Pennsylvania Monument on the historic Gettysburg Battlefield. The “President’s Own”, United States Marine Corp Band and the West Point Cadet Glee Club delighted attendees with their patriotic medleys. The evening included the reciting of the Gettysburg Address by former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates and concluded with a magnificent fireworks display.
Saturday began with a solemn memorial service remembering and honoring the recipients of the Medal of Honor who passed away over the past year. The convention closed with the Patriot Award Dinner. Hosted by Wolf Blitzer, honorees included General Peter W. Chairelli, Tom Selleck, Nicholas Buoniconti, and Timothy Hetherington. The Patriot Award Dinner was an exciting conclusion to this historical convention!