National Medal of Honor Day is observed each year on March 25 to celebrate and honor the more than 3,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines whose service to our nation has been distinguished through extraordinary heroism and sacrifice. To commemorate this annual day of recognition, the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center (Heritage Center) announced Wednesday a learning resource package for educators and parents to use as schools across Tennessee and the country are moving towards a virtual learning environment.
Aimed to inspire the next generation of heroes, the Heritage Center’s “Adventures in Valor” virtual learning environment includes an online scavenger hunt to better understand the history of the Medal of Honor, an essay contest and a list of ten discussion questions—each activity created with respect to the mission, vision and values of the Heritage Center and the highest military award for valor.
From the first Medal of Honor recipient to the six character traits that embody the Medal of Honor, the scavenger hunt explores the “About” section of the Heritage Center website for a chance to win a free admission ticket.
In addition, the Heritage Center is holding a special Dr. Mary Walker Art & Essay Contest to celebrate the life and legacy of the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor, with winning entries receiving additional prizes. And finally, the Heritage Center has created an important dialog among teachers and parents on how they can inspire students to face and overcome their own fears and challenges in life. In the coming weeks, the Heritage Center will post a series of character education videos that teachers and parents can easily incorporate into their educational materials for a virtual classroom discussion on character education.
“Now more than ever, these six character traits—Patriotism, Citizenship, Courage, Integrity, Sacrifice and Commitment— have meaning in what we do every day, and they can serve as a guiding light for our community on how each of us can do our part to make our community and world a better place,” said Keith A. Hardison, executive director or the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. “In such an unprecedented and challenging time, we are honored to deliver a values-based character education program that meets the needs of our schools and children across the state and even the country.
“Adventures in Valor is informative and provides some important life lessons and hands-on learning activities that children can easily do at home as we all work together to navigate these uncertain times.”
The nation’s first Medal of Honor was presented on March 25, 1863 to Private Jacob Parrott for his part in the “The Great Locomotive Chase” that ended just outside of Chattanooga. Ultimately, 19 members of Andrews’ Raiders would receive the Medal of Honor for their incredible act of valor. Later that year, Chattanooga would become a hallowed ground—a place where 33 additional Medals of Honor were awarded. These "First Medals" are why Chattanooga is known as the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor.
The online learning program is available now at www.MOHHC.org/adventures
The Heritage Center remains closed until further notice due to the public health concerns surrounding COVID-19. Visit the center’s website or Facebook page for more information.