Trouble is, I guess this curse comes my way because I have been at this so long that I can see some sort of a Canadian connection on so many fronts when researching. This, even though the new tidbit has nothing to do with what I am looking for that day.
This of course results in running off in another direction, and another and yet more, gaining lots of info but zip on the topic of the day. Thus a loss of time and getting yet further behind in my work and items that I promise to bring you in a timely fashion.
Couple this with the usual sillyness on the net about so-and so winning a medal, when such are not won but earned, and calling it the Medal of Honor went in fact the medal being awarded is the Congressional Gold Medal, or as often called...the Presidential Gold Medal, despite the fact that such does not exist.
These mistakes are far too often made by the press, who seem to send out the message that they are little interested in often doing sufficient research. Instead, they continue to mislead the public who pick up their wrong nomenclature.
In the earlier days of these blogs I too, made the mistakes several times when calling the Congressional Gold Medal the Presidential Gold Medal.
In summary, there are two types of medals that are often misnamed.
The first is the Medal of Honor, given for bravery usually in the face of the enemy. But in much earlier days also for lower standards of deeds on many occasions. It is this medal that is the primary subject of the blogs on this site. It is often called the Presidential Medal of Honor or the Congressional Medal of Honor. Both terms are wrong.
The second medal is not a military medal. It is called the Congressional Gold Medal, and is awarded by CONGRESS, but usually actually PRESENTED by the President. Another Medal... called the Presidential Medal of Freedom is in fact awarded and presented by the President.
Both of these two later medals are usually for civilians or groups and are the highest civilian awards that can be presented to Americans and others so qualifying.
The CGM is specifically designed for the individual or group. An original is made and presented to the recipient. When a group is awarded the medal, the group gets one original, and often members of the group can obtain a duplicate of this original.
The CGM shown above was designed in honour of the joint US/Canada WWll unit called the First Special Service Force. It's soldiers were also known as the Devils Brigade and their fame, ferociousness, and tactics became the forerunners of many specialist forces in the US military. They have been written about often in past blogs in this space. Therein you can read about specific connections to Victoria BC. One being quite significant!
The lower medal, shown above, is the only current design of the US Army's Medal of Honor. With exception of personal details, ie name, date and location of deed being inscribed on the reverse, all MOH's currently awarded to soldiers are the same model shown above.
Moving on, regarding the constant misuse of names for these medals, here are some of the recent news accounts of recipients, and the use of wrong terminology. A quick search of the net will show many, many others.
Hope to see you then,