The first Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award for valor in action against an enemy force, was presented on March 25, 1863. The United States Congress designated March 25 of each year as the National Medal of Honor Day. Governor Mark Dayton also will proclaim March 25 as Medal of Honor Day in the State of Minnesota.
Since the Civil War, brave men and women from the state of Minnesota have answered the call to defend and protect the freedoms we hold dear and several have gone beyond this call to duty, risking injury and loss of life. Medal of Honor recipients have distinguished themselves from others at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty by courage and intrepidity. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society there have been 3,463 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
A plaque located in the Court of Honor at the Minnesota State Capitol Grounds serves as a permanent marker to honor the 56 Medal of Honor recipients associated with the State of Minnesota who have shown great bravery in defense of our country.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that Building 19 on the Minneapolis Veterans Home Campus is now certified to receive Medicaid and Medicare funds. This is the first CMS certification in the Minnesota Veterans Home system.
“I am very proud of the dedication by staff - on every level - who worked to achieve this goal. This certification not only reflects the high quality care we provide our Veterans, but it also represents our commitment to financial responsibility and future planning,” said Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.
It is hard to believe March is already upon us. The State Legislative Session is in full swing, and this week the Commander’s Task Force held their annual Veterans Day on the Hill event. This is a day when Veterans and families around the state unite on the issues that are most important in 2014.
I want to thank the Governor, the Legislature, and all our elected officials for their ongoing support of Veterans in this state. I am proud that Minnesota is one of the most Veteran-friendly states in the nation, but we cannot rest or become complacent. In fact, I believe that here at MDVA one of our greatest strengths is our ability to anticipate and encourage change. This willingness to find new and better ways to serve Minnesota Veterans and their families was evident over this last year as we provided relief to Veterans through special needs grants to help keep them in their homes, opened the nation’s second Veteran focused Adult Day Center, explored new ways of outreach, launched an award-winning website, and made education more accessible to the Veterans who need it most. This might sound like an impressive list, but I can assure you we still have more work to do!