Two weeks in and I was still impacted by the Medal of Honor recipient’s stories. I had begun to understand my place in this new position. My work days were getting busier and I began to meet more people involved with the Medal of Honor Convention Twin Cities. The big red curtain started to pull back as I saw the people involved behind the scenes of this enormous project.
Sitting in the office one day, I felt a lightness in the air I was breathing. The facial expressions and tones of voice from the Chairwoman and Chief of Staff, the two women I spend most of my working hours with, sitting across from me radiated with passion as they began to fill my head with more knowledge. Smiles swept across their faces as they exchanged military lingo and recited the six characteristics of Medal of Honor recipients. I giggled under my breath as I realized this was truly FUN for them. They were certainly entertaining themselves.
Courage. Commitment. Sacrifice. Patriotism. Integrity. Citizenship.
Staring at the white board and seeing these words written in bold, I began to repeat them over and over again, as if each time I whispered them they were becoming closer and closer to being engraved in my mind. We brainstormed all day on ways to implement these words into schools across the state. After hours of hard work, my scope of knowledge of the Medal of Honor widened even more. I would’ve never guessed there could be a connection between the war heroes and children, but as the pieces fell together I felt that light air again, this time coming from me.
It felt amazing to finally be starting to grasp what all of this meant. I was not only grasping the logistics but understanding them as well. Just as I whispered to myself that I was finally catching on, something the Chairwoman said grabbed my attention,
“When I talk to people, for the first time, about the Medal of Honor Convention many of them don’t even understand what the Medal of Honor is. Some of them even thought I was talking about a video game.”
Just like that, I saw the ultimate goal in these women’s hearts. To them (and now to me), it isn’t just about the Medal of Honor Convention, it’s about educating and inspiring our community for years to come.
I walked out the door that day with a skip in my step and newfound passion gushing from my heart. I realized that while I was suddenly feeling enlightened, I was also troubled by the simple question: Why? We spend a good 13 years learning about our country’s history, but where are these most incredible stories of sacrifice and courage? Why aren’t we taught about our nations greatest heroes? Why aren’t more people aware that there are 77 LIVING recipients that we can still learn from firsthand? Why don’t more people know?