Medal of Honor Recipients Gather in Chicago

Honorees to receive 19-gun salute

By Steve Bryant
|  Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009  |  Updated 7:36 PM CDT
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Chicago Pays Tribute to Military Heroes

The Congressional Medal of Honor Ribbon for the Navy.

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Chicago Pays Tribute to Military Heroes

More than 50 of America's most distinguished combat veterans are honored at the annual Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony, held in Chicago for the first time.
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More than 50 of America's most distinguished combat veterans were honored at the annual Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony, which was held for the first time in Chicago on Tuesday.

Tuesday's ceremony included a jump from the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. 

Mayor Daley honored the veterans as soldiers who have distinguished themselves "conspicuously by gallantry" were regaled with a 19-gun salute.  He said Chicago should be "both humbled and honored by the presence" of the medal recipients. 

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called them "very special human beings, the best of the best."

General James Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, gave a keynote speech.

Of the 42 million Americans who've served in the armed forces, only 3,447 of them have received a medal of honor, and today there are fewer than a hundred living recipients.  Six members of the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have been chosen for the Medal of Honor.

The ceremony was followed by a public autograph signing session with the Medal of Honor Recipients.

For a full schedule of this week's Medal of Honor events, check out CMOH2009Chicago.com.

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