2011 Citizen Service Before Self Honors Presented
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2011 – The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation today on Medal of Honor Day announced and nationally honored the Citizen Service Before Self Honors recipients for 2011. After a nationwide search and selection process, three Americans have been selected for their selflessness and indomitable courage. The three unsung heroes are:
Timothy Brooks of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for valiantly rescuing a woman and her three children who were stranded in the Delaware River after their tour boat collided with a barge and sank on July 7, 2010;
Marie Conley of Boston, Massachusetts for sacrificing her life to save a young boy by shielding him with her own body from a car that was barreling towards him on October 21, 2008; and,
Dr. Pascal Spino of Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a lifetime’s commitment to treating children, often not charging those who cannot afford healthcare and saving tens of thousands of lives.
The 2011 Citizen Service Before Self Honors recipients were recognized by our nation’s most honored heroes, the fewer than 90 living Medal of Honor recipients, in the shadow of the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The Tomb represents the epitome of courage, sacrifice and selflessness in service to our nation. The Citizen Service Before Self Honors and the American Spirit Award Ceremony was held at 2:45 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 25, 2011, following a Medal of Honor Day wreath laying ceremony. More than 30 Medal of Honor recipients were in attendance.
General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, made special remarks, and Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for National Journal emceed the ceremony. Sponsors of the 2011 Citizen Service Before Self Honors initiative are Lockheed Martin Corporation T. Boone Pickens Foundation, The Boeing Company, and the TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
“I, along with all of the living Medal of Honor recipients, salute Timothy Brooks, Marie Conley and Dr. Pascal Spino, for their selfless acts,” said Leo Thorsness, President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and a Foundation board member. “As true heroes among us, these three remarkable recipients epitomize the Citizen Service Before Self Honors concept of ‘service before self’ and are truly deserving of this award. Their actions are an inspiration to Americans everywhere.”
After considering all nominations, a panel including Medal of Honor recipient representation, selected 20 national finalists. From among the finalists, a second panel of Medal of Honor recipients selected three individuals to receive the prestigious civilian honors, Citizen Service Before Self Honors. Complete profiles for each of the three recipients are listed on the site, www.CitizenServiceBeforeSelfHonors.org.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor, which President Abraham Lincoln signed into law in 1861. Since that enactment, the Medal, which has been awarded fewer than 3,500 times, has been our nation’s highest award for military valor. Its monumental anniversary represents 150 years of courage and sacrifice on the part of the millions of men and women who have defended our freedoms in uniform.
At the ceremony, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and Society also presented the American Spirit Award to Jack Pape, a 17-year-old Boy Scout from Omaha, Neb. Pape, a junior in high school, helped to provide first aid to Scouts injured during the tornado that struck Little Sioux Scout Ranch in 2008 and administered CPR to a young boy who had stopped breathing while at a hotel swimming pool in 2009. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate extraordinary skill, professionalism and a spirit of excellence in a challenging situation.
In 2010, Boy Scouts of America and Boys’ Life magazine conducted a national search, and four Scouts were selected as nominees for the American Spirit Award. An online vote at boyslife.org, combined with the evaluations from a judging panel, one recipient was selected. This year, Boys’ Life magazine is celebrating its 100th year of turning “today’s readers into tomorrow’s leaders.” For more information, please visit http://boyslife.org/.