The actions of those awarded the Medal of Honor are always extraordinary because what they did is so contrary to the basic human instincts of self-preservation and survival. Their selfless bravery in the face of mortal danger, most often in sacrificing their own lives to save the lives of others, is the embodiment of our cultural definition of a hero. Those who have survived will tell you that they have been chosen to maintain the honor and memory of their comrades in arms that did not come home. Our Medal of Honor recipients remind us of the cost paid for our freedom, a price that we as a nation are periodically required to pay in blood, sacrifice, and courage.
Character traits of courage, commitment, integrity, citizenship, sacrifice, and patriotism are the underlying virtues embodied in the award of the Medal of Honor, as well as highly admired cultural standards of our society. The principles upon which our nation was founded and still strives to maintain are reflected in those virtues and standards.
The study and development of the referenced character traits has been endorsed by the Medal of Honor Society, that has been developed into a best practices formal educational curriculum by teachers for teachers, is being taught in an expanded number of schools throughout the United States. In 2014, Minnesota became the 47th state and Washington County the first county in Minnesota to initiate training teachers and educators with the Medal of Honor Society Character Development Curriculum. The curriculum teaches students in secondary, middle, and elementary schools by age appropriate examples the importance of positive character traits for success in school and in life thereafter.
We as a society have a need to be educated to understand and honor the contributions of Medal of Honor recipients have made to our country and culture that have significantly contributed to sustaining our way of life and the values and ideals we hold dear. As Minnesotans, we can and need to do our part in that effort to educate and instill those values and standards by honoring and remembering with a Medal of Honor Memorial those who have selflessly served and sacrificed for all of us.