BOSTON – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff turned an honor to him into a tribute to the families of American servicemembers during the Patriot Dinner of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society here yesterday.
The society presented Marine Gen. Peter Pace the Patriot Award. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is made up of the men who have received the nation’s highest award for battlefield valor. They present the Patriot Award annually to “those persons, who through their life’s work, have distinguished themselves as Americans who are dedicated to freedom and the ideals represented” by the society.
More than 60 Medal of Honor recipients attended the society’s convention here this year. The men received their awards for extraordinary heroism on the battlefields of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Brian Williams, the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News and emcee for the dinner, said the men represent more than valor. They also represent sacrifice and serving a cause greater than self. “This is probably the most notable gathering of men in New England since the Continental Army was formed,” Williams said.
Pace received the Patriot Award from Medal of Honor recipient Navy Capt. Thomas G. Kelley and from Society President Gary L. Littrell. “I want to accept this award on behalf of a very special group of Americans, and that is the families of our men and women who serve in the armed forces,” Pace said.
Pace gave the case for military families. “What I learned about families I learned in my own kitchen,” he said. “I learned from my family, and from watching so many others, some very basic truths about the American military family.”