Above and Beyond: The Medal of Honor Museum aboard the USS Yorktown
The Medal of Honor is the highest honor that anyone who serves in the United States military can be awarded. It takes immense sacrifice and selflessness. Going “above and beyond the call of duty” are the words that most people will hear when they enter the Medal of Honor Museum aboard the USS Yorktown. The Medal of Honor Museum is a place to reflect and pay respects to those who went above and beyond. This solemn place is also an area of the Yorktown that gives guests the opportunity to learn and what the Medal of Honor is, learn who has received it, and to also view names and pictures of the newest recipients.
Of all the men and women who have served in the United States military, only been awarded to 3,493 individuals. Of those individuals, nineteen of them have been double recipients. The youngest person to receive the Medal of Honor was 12-year-old William J. Johnston who was a drummer boy during the Civil War. Drummers were used to help give signals during early war times. Of all of the recipients of the medal, only one woman have ever been awarded the highest honor. Dr. Mary Walker was a volunteer for the Union Army during the Civil War and helped heal or mend those who had been wounded. She had been captured by the Confederates but was released in 1864 and she continued to aid women who had been prisoners. Dr. Walker was awarded her medal, but in 1917, her medal award had been rescinded. “That civilian status is why Walker's medal was rescinded in 1917, two years before she died -- along with 910 others. Walker refused to return the medal, though, and continued to wear it until she died two years later.” (Lange, 2017). Her medal was reinstated to her in 1977 under President Jimmy Carter.
The Medal of Honor Museum aboard the USS Yorktown is a place for the new “sailors” who come aboard to learn about the men and woman who earned these medals for going above and beyond. The museum offers interactive screens to provide visual and audio information for those who want to know more than what is displayed on the plaques. When people tour the museum they can see the different displays available and can also learn about the three different medals that are awarded. The three branches for the medal are the Air Force, Navy, and Army. The Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard are awarded under the Department of the Navy. If you’re ever aboard the USS Yorktown, do take a few moments to visit this precious gem.
Lange, Katie. “Meet Dr. Mary Walker: The Only Female Medal of Honor Recipient.” www.army.mil, March 7, 2017. https://www.army.mil/article/183800/meet_dr_mary_walker_the_only_female_medal_of_honor_recipient.
Medal of Honor Museum, Foundation. “The Medal.” National Medal of Honor Museum, December 2, 2022. https://mohmuseum.org/the-medal/.