This Saturday, Crowne Plaza marks Armed Forces Day at the Colonial by playing host to six of the 86 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. It’s the 150th Anniversary of that honor, and Crowne Plaza will donate $1,000 for each birdie made on the 17th hole on Saturday to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. There also will be a ceremony following play off the 18th green. Rory Sabbatini, who has been a supporter of Birdies for the Brave, will participate.
Sabbatini’s work is through the United Through Reading program, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to uniting families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together – particularly for the more than one million American children who are separated from one or both parents due to military deployment. The nationally-acclaimed programs developed by United Through Reading provide opportunities for emotional bonding that relieve the stress of separation and instill a love of reading by enabling family members to read aloud to children on DVD. United Through Reading’s programs help bring far-away family members back home for a little while each day, and help turn what might otherwise be tentative, anxious family re-introductions into joyous reunions.”
In addition to the Medal of Honor work, Crowne Plaza will donate a room night to Birdies for the Brave for every birdie made on Saturday.
The Medal of Honor dates to the Civil War, when in 1861 and 1862, separate bills were passed providing for an award for those who “distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action.” Six soldiers who participated in the Andrews Raid were the first recipients (an event later made into the Disney movie, The Great Locomotive Chase. Those of us of a certain age will remember that Fess Parker starred in that one) Since 1941, more than half of the awards have been given posthumously.
The award often is erroneously called the Congressional Medal of Honor. The confusion comes because the citation includes the line “in the name of Congress.” It’s actually awarded by the President, on behalf of Congress. The official name is “Medal of Honor.” Confusingly, the foundation is the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. I’m surprised that so many journalists get this wrong, because it was in my AP stylebook from back in the day (unless its changed).
Armed Forces Day was inaugurated August 31, 1949 to consolidate the separate days honoring the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Below, you’ll see a nice photo from Armed Forces Day 1951, showing Airmen from Andrews AFB in Maryland passing in review in front of President Truman. I grew up near Andrews, and Mrs. GolfBlogger was stationed there when we met. We had our wedding reception in the Andrews Officers’ Club.