BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced Friday it will hold its annual convention and Patriot Award Dinner in Boston in September 2021.
"Our great city is honored to host our nation's most brave and valiant heroes and the recipients of our country's highest honor for an unprecedented fourth time," Mayor Walsh said Friday.
"Like the hundreds of thousands of Bostonians who have served our country, from the Revolutionary War to the present, these Medal of Honor Recipients are shining examples of courage, bravery and sacrifice," Walsh continued. "Their selfless dedication and service are the foundation of the liberties and freedoms we enjoy today."
The Medal of Honor Convention, which will run September 7th through 11th, will be attended by many of the nation's 69 living Medal of Honor Recipients and their guests, for about 100 to 150 people total.
The 2021 convention will culminate with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award Dinner on September 11th at the Seaport Hotel Boston, where the Recipients will present several awards to honorees who have shown exceptional service to the country and for their commitment to our veterans and men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.
According to Mayor Walsh's office, organizers are prepared to adapt their plans for the fall depending on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic as the event nears, but the convention could be pushed to a later date or scaled back if gathering restrictions remain in place.
The Medal of Honor Recipients held their first Boston convention in October 2001, one month after postponing the event because of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The Medal of Honor Society was the first organization to reschedule their Boston convention following 9/11.
The Society returned to Boston in 2006, and their 2015 event marked the first time the Medal of Honor Recipients held their convention three times in the same city. The Boston 2021 visit will be an unprecedented fourth visit by the Medal of Honor Society.
"These Medal of Honor Recipients have formed a strong bond with the city and people of Boston and to be able to honor them here for the fourth time in 20 years is unprecedented in the history of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society,'' Thomas J. Lyons, Chairman of the Boston Congressional Medal of Honor Society Host Committee said. "The duties and sacrifices they have made on behalf of the nation, and their unwavering support for our men and women in uniform, is awe inspiring and we intend to host their convention in a manner that will truly honor and celebrate these incredible heroes.'"
While in Boston, Walsh's office said the Recipients will be involved in several public events, and will also be visiting area schools.
"The Medal of Honor recipients are thrilled to be coming back to Boston,'' said Thomas G. Kelley of Massachusetts, a retired Navy Captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant actions in Vietnam on June 15, 1969. "The outpouring of warmth we experienced in our previous conventions in Boston left an indelible impression on all of us."
Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan M. Pitts is a Lowell native who now resides in New Hampshire, and who received the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions as an Army Sergeant in Afghanistan on July 13, 2008.
Pitts said he's excited his fellow Recipients will return to Boston this September and once again enjoy all that the city has to offer, and the warm reception we are likely to receive again by the greater Boston community.
"We don't consider ourselves to be heroes," Pitts said. "The heroes are the ones who did not come home. We wear the medal to honor them, as well as all the men and women who have served and continue to serve.''
Written by Brit Smith
(Photo: Getty Images)