2008 Citizen Service Before Self Honors Presented
New York, N.Y., March 24, 2008 – The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which is solely comprised of fewer than100 living Medal of Honor recipients, has announced that after a nationwide search and selection process, three Americans have been selected as their 2008 Above & Beyond Citizen Honorees. These unsung heroes are:
Jencie Fagan of Nevada, a school teacher, who went above and beyond with her brave stand against a school shooter who had already wounded two students. She courageously put herself in harm’s way by standing in front of the armed student, protecting others, as she calmly talked the boy into putting down his weapon.
Matthew Miller of Fridley, Minnesota, a student and construction worker, went above and beyond for others as he saved the lives of ten people and helped scores of injured in the 35W Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis.
Don Schoendorfer of Orange County, California, an engineer, for going above and beyond as an advocate for the disabled, as he created, manufactured and distributed over 250,000 wheelchairs to those in need.
Hosted by Brian Williams, with Honorary Co-Chair General Colin L. Powell (USA) Ret., the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors presentation ceremony will take place on National Medal of Honor Day – March 25, 2008.
The site selected by the Society for this historic ceremony is the ultimate symbol of anonymous heroism – the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. All of the anonymous soldiers who have found eternal rest in the Tomb, have been presented with our nation’s highest award for valor in combat, The Medal of Honor. On the east side of the Tomb is a sculpture of three Greek citizens, each representing the virtues of Peace, Victory and Valor. So the world will always know that the most revered military heroes in the United States have the distinct honor of presenting America’s most prestigious civilian awards, the image of these figures from the Tomb, have been placed on the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors medals themselves.
The selection of the Above & Beyond Citizen Honorees and their remarkable stories of hope and courage will be broadcast to the nation on the NBC Today Show on March 26, 2008.
“I, along with all of the living Medal of Honor recipients salute Jencie Fagan, Matthew Miller and Don Schoendorfer,” said Robert Howard, the President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “As Americans, we must realize that the acts of individual citizens can have a tremendous impact on our nation. It is my sincere hope that the selfless acts of these three remarkable citizens, and indeed all of our State Finalists as well, will inspire our fellow citizens towards public service. This unique award honors the true heroes among us.”
Honorary Co-Chairs of Above & Beyond Citizen Honors include former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, and General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.). David McIntyre, President and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance serves as Event Chairman.
The primary sponsor of the 2008 Above & Beyond initiative is TriWest Healthcare Alliance, with additional support provided by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Above & Beyond, co-created by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and EPOP International, is historic, as it is the first time all of the living Medal of Honor recipients have banded together to create a national platform to promote “Service before Self.” The Above & Beyond Citizen Honors are unique, because they are presented to civilian unsung heroes by our nation’s most honored heroes, all of the living Medal of Honor recipients themselves.