WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wants to make sure plenty of Floridians have a chance to win one of the three special national awards that will be given out next month by prestigious Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
The Florida Democrat has set up a form on his Website to help find unsung heroes in the Sunshine State.
And he’s asking Floridians to nominate exemplary citizens who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to service above self or who have, at great risk, helped others through a single act of heroism.
The awards are being offered by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which was chartered by Congress in 1958 and is made up of the fewer than 100 living recipients of the Medal of Honor.
The Medal of Honor is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. president on behalf of the Congress on members of the military who showed valor in combat.
This select group will be awarding its own “Above and Beyond Citizen Honors” to recognize three extraordinary Americans who uphold the same ideals of courage, sacrifice and selflessness as Medal of Honor winners.
Nominations for the Citizen Honors must be submitted by Feb. 20, according to Nelson.
“I’ve traveled up and down Florida for most of my life – and, I can tell you we have some of the most amazing men and women who go above and beyond for others every day,” Nelson said.
Fifty-one finalists will be chosen for the Citizen Honors, one from each state and the District of Columbia.
Three winners will be chosen from among them to receive the award at a ceremony on March 25, which will be held in the shadow of the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
The awards are given out annually but this year the society asked lawmakers to help find unsung heroes.
To nominate someone from Florida, people can go to www.billnelson.senate.gov where a nomination form is available.