FORT WORTH, Texas, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor for valor in combat against an enemy force, American Airlines today is flying a group of these veterans to Washington, D.C., in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day on March 25.
Following a ceremony at New York's LaGuardia Airport, the recipients will be transported aboard American's yellow-ribbon Boeing 737 aircraft, "Flagship Liberty," to Washington, D.C. To begin the weekend's activities and welcome the veterans, American is hosting a private luncheon for the group and other special guests.
While in Washington, D.C., the recipients will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, as well as receptions in their honor. As the official airline of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for Medal of Honor Day, American Airlines has proudly provided transportation to recipients for the past four years.
"The brave actions taken by these heroes, whether long ago or in recent conflicts, truly exemplify to the highest degree what all members of the military strive to do, and that is to go beyond the call of duty," said Captain John Hale, American's Vice President – Flight and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. "At American Airlines, we feel that it is our duty to honor them – and all service members and veterans – during our everyday tasks and through special events such as this, which we look forward to every year."The highest military decoration awarded by the U.S., the Medal of Honor is bestowed by the President of the United States in the name of Congress on members of the Armed Forces who conspicuously distinguish themselves through gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty. Of more than 40 million veterans who have served since the beginning of the Civil War, fewer than 3,500 Medals of Honor have been awarded. "National Medal of Honor Day is a special time for this elite group of recipients to come together on a day set aside to honor them and other American citizens who have demonstrated courage and selflessness in their daily lives," said Silas R. Johnson, Jr., President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. "We are grateful that American Airlines has again stepped up to help make this day possible. American's ongoing support of our veterans and U.S. service members reflects its long-term commitment and support of those who protect our great nation." At the luncheon, American Airlines will reaffirm its commitment to all living Medal of Honor recipients via the presentation of AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status, and ConciergeKey® and Admirals Club® memberships. American is pleased to continue this special recognition program, which was announced during Medal of Honor festivities last year. Executive Platinum status is the highest level of AAdvantage elite status that can be achieved by American's customers, with benefits that include complimentary upgrades, elite mileage bonuses and PriorityAAccess(SM) airport privileges, among others.