Medal of Honor (MoH) Recipients at Arlington National Cemetery
There are more than 400 Medal of Honor recipients represented at Arlington National Cemetery ranging from the Civil War to current conflicts
There are three different types of Medals of Honor today. The original simple star shape established in 1861 which the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have retained; a wreath version designed in 1904 for the Army; and an altered wreath version for the Air Force, designed in 1963 and adopted in 1965.
On December 9, 1861, Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced S. No. 82 in the United States Senate, a bill designed to "promote the efficiency of the Navy" by authorizing the production and distribution of "medals of honor". On December 21st, the bill was passed, authorizing 200 such medals be produced "which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seaman-like qualities during the present war (Civil War)." President Lincoln signed the bill and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was born.
Two months later, on February 17, 1862, Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson introduced a similar bill to authorize "the President to distribute medals to privates in the Army of the United States who shall distinguish themselves in battle." Over the following months wording changed slightly as the bill made its way through Congress. When President Abraham Lincoln signed S.J.R. No. 82 on July 12, 1862, the Army Medal of Honor was born.
On August 10, 1956, legislation was authorized providing members of the United States Air Force with their own, distinctive design for an Air Force Medal of Honor separate from that of the Navy and Army. In 1965, the Air Fprce introduced the design for their distinctive Air Force Medal of Honor, similar in design to that of the Army Medal of Honor only larger and displaying the head of the Statue of Liberty and other design changes. Each branch of service, Army, Navy/Marines/Coast Guard, and Air Force now has its own medal design. All three branches display the Medal suspended below a neck ribbon.
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for many Medal of Honor recipients from the following conflicts: