Today, we at The Heritage Foundation are proud to honor Veterans Day by pausing to remember the men and women in uniform who serve this country. They are some of the finest this nation has to offer.

Among those who have served throughout the years, the recipients of the Medal of Honor (MOH) deserve our utmost respect and admiration. They wear this august award for those who did not come home. They never refer to themselves as “winners” but see themselves as caretakers of the Medal of Honor for all who also served in harm’s way in defense of freedom.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award given to an American military service member who has shown extreme courage and intrepidity during combat.

We at The Heritage Foundation would like to take the opportunity on this special day to introduce you to a foundation devoted exclusively to perpetuating the legacy of these heroes and their notion of service above self.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and its Educational Curriculum are an invaluable resource for Heritage and for our nation. Teaching lessons in character, the Foundation holds in its resources short video living biographies of over 100 recipients of the Medal of Honor. These testimonials provide the basis for a six-part curriculum that teaches students how to better understand and emulate the virtues of courage, integrity, sacrifice, commitment, citizenship and patriotism in their own lives.

The interdisciplinary character development resource, “Medal of Honor: Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice,” uses the oral histories of Medal of Honor recipients to convey to students that not only in military circumstances, but in everyday life, everyone can demonstrate courage and sacrifice. The lessons are intended for use across grade levels using a wide variety of teaching methods. The content is appropriate for all students in any school setting and encourages the use of critical thinking and collaboration skills.

This MOH Character Development Program is a research-based teaching strategy using vignettes that allow the participants to see and hear the events directly from the Medal of Honor recipient’s perspective and in their own words.  To see a sample of this resource, go to Above the log in, you can view one of the overview videos “In Their Own Words.” You can also watch MOH recipient Clarence Sasser and hear how a medic on a mission saved so many lives in the jungles of Vietnam.

Students connect the lessons to their own lives through small and whole group strategies and discover “what values can I apply to my life?” This resource curriculum does not glorify war. In contrast, it asks students to create their own definitions of courage, integrity, sacrifice, commitment, citizenship, and patriotism. The Program helps students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to positively direct their social and civic interactions and to preserve our democratic society.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s target goals and strategies include:

  • Increase students’ understanding of the Medal of Honor and the 6 values associated with it: courage, commitment, integrity, sacrifice, citizenship and patriotism.
  • Increase academic engagement
  • Improve school culture and climate
  • Increase student achievement

To quote an educator using the program, “Just…press play; you will immediately know the importance of educating our youth about the values these men represent.” And from a student: “Act like everyone is watching, even if no one is.”

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