Nominate citizen heroes for national Citizen Service Before Self Honors

Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Gov. Jay Nixon is encouraging the nomination of deserving Missourians for the Citizen Service Before Self Honors, which recognize and honor ordinary Americans who become extraordinary through their indomitable courage and selflessness. The Governor said there have been many recent instances of Missourians distinguishing themselves in serving others.

Three civilians will be selected from among 20 national finalists to receive the honors from recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, at a March 25 ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery near the Tomb of the Unknowns. The recipients of the Medal of Honor comprise the Congressionally chartered Medal of Honor Society.

Gov. Nixon and the Medal of Honor recipients encourage the nomination of any American civilian who has clearly demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice for others, whether through a single act of extraordinary heroism at risk to one’s life or through a prolonged series of selfless acts. The nominee’s actions must epitomize the concept of “service before self” and must be performed “above and beyond” one’s professional area of responsibility or conduct. In 2009, David Bryan of Kansas City received the award for rescuing a motorist from a burning vehicle on Interstate 70 near Higginsville.

The nominations are being accepted online at by The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to perpetuate the Medal of Honor’s legacy of courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism. The website explains the criteria for nominating someone for the honor. The nomination period for the 2013 Citizen Service Before Self Honors ends Dec. 28.

Since it was established by President Lincoln as our nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor has been awarded fewer than 3,500 times. There are fewer than 85 living recipients of the Medal, ranging in age from 24 to 95.