More than 100 veterans and civilians stood together in silence as the honor guard handed the Congressional Medal of Honor Society flag to Medal of Honor recipient Col. Joe Marm. He attached it to the flag pole below the American flag and began to raise them both into the East Tennessee sky.
The light blue flag will wave over the East Tennessee Veteran’s Memorial at World’s Fair Park until the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention comes to a close on September 13.
The flag raising was the last event in an hour-long program, which included speeches by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, convention co-chairpersons Joe Thompson and Chris Coyne, and Tennessee National Guard Adjunct General Max Haston.
Capt. Swenson is the 12th recipient and sixth living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the 3,463rd recipient of the medal since its inception and the 79th currently living recipient. Sweson is the first army officer to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam.
Swenson was awarded the medal by the President of the United States for action during the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan. The official narrative from the U.S. Army can be read here, and The Washington Post created a fantastic 8-minute documentary about Swenson and the Battle of Ganjgal. Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer was also awarded the medal for action during the Battle of Ganjgal. There has been some controversy related to the variance between the stories of Swenson and Meyer.
Staff Sgt. Ty Carter is the 3,462nd recipient of the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military honor. He joins an elite group of 78 other living Medal of Honor recipients. He was awarded the medal for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action at Combat Outpost Keating during the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha was also awarded the Medal of Honor for action at Combat Outpost Keating.
On February 11, 2013 President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha. The award was earned on October 3, 2009 for action in Afghanistan. Romesha is the seventh Medal of Honor recipient from the war in Afghanistan and the fourth living recipient, since Vietnam. After the jump you can read Romesha’s Medal of Honor citation and watch the East Room ceremony.