Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Travel on AA’s Flagship Liberty
In March, AA partnered with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in a reception and charter flight from New York to Washington D.C. for 32 of our country's most cherished treasures, U.S Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and their families.
"Being in the presence of these great Americans and hearing what they had to say about life, service, and honor was life changing for me," said Bill Clark – AA Corporate Communications.
The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is be-stowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." Because of the nature of its criteria, the medal is often awarded posthumously. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, 3,447 soldiers have received the Medal (95 are alive today).
"I want to thank the employees of American Airlines for their commitment and dedication to honor their fellow Americans," said Robert Howard, President, CMH Charter. "We are awed, this is a magnificent reception. We get a lot of accolades, but I have never seen anything like this," added Joe Marm – 7th Cavalry Vietnam 1964.
AA is active in its support of military service through such endeavors as Seats for Soldiers and Snowball Express. The all-volunteer crew who worked the flight were both honored and privileged to help some of our country's heroes.
"As a veteran myself, I felt it was an incredible privilege to honor these people by working this flight. These people are incredible heroes," said Flight Attendant Bruce Ferris, a Vietnam vet 101st Airborne 1969-1970. "At a time when the word 'hero' is so over-used it is an honor to be in the presence of so many real heroes."
"It was an honor and a privilege to carry these veterans and their families for this event," added Captain Mike Roy, AA Pilot and retired Air Force.
The passengers were surprised at departure by the port authority with a water salute of the aircraft by the fire department. Chief Pilot Mark Cronin announced to the cabin that the salute "was an aviation tradition for those we honor."