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Medal of Honor recipients place a wreath Friday at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Medal of Honor recipients place a wreath Friday at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipients place a wreath Friday at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Medal of Honor recipients place a wreath Friday at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipient Bruce Crandall hands Marine Cpl. Christopher Conley an award for his mother, Marie Conley, who died saving a young boy from a speeding car. Behind them is MOH recipient Gary Beikirch.
Medal of Honor recipient Bruce Crandall hands Marine Cpl. Christopher Conley an award for his mother, Marie Conley, who died saving a young boy from a speeding car. Behind them is MOH recipient Gary Beikirch. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Timothy Brooks, of Philadelphia, receives a "Citizen Service Before Self Honor" for diving into the Delaware River to save a woman and her three children whose tour boat had capsized after being struck by a barge.
Timothy Brooks, of Philadelphia, receives a "Citizen Service Before Self Honor" for diving into the Delaware River to save a woman and her three children whose tour boat had capsized after being struck by a barge. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipient Charles Hagemeister hands Domenic Spino a "Citizen Service Before Self Honor" for his father, Dr. Pascal Spino, who has treated thousands of children, often free of charge if they cannot afford healthcare.
Medal of Honor recipient Charles Hagemeister hands Domenic Spino a "Citizen Service Before Self Honor" for his father, Dr. Pascal Spino, who has treated thousands of children, often free of charge if they cannot afford healthcare. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Marine Cpl. Christopher Conley accepted a "Citizen Service Before Self Honor" for his mother, Marie Conley, a Boston crossing guard who died shielding a young boy from a speeding car.
Marine Cpl. Christopher Conley accepted a "Citizen Service Before Self Honor" for his mother, Marie Conley, a Boston crossing guard who died shielding a young boy from a speeding car. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, center, and other Medal of Honor recipients stand during a wreath-laying ceremony Friday at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns.
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, center, and other Medal of Honor recipients stand during a wreath-laying ceremony Friday at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, right, and Medal of Honor recipients Leo Thorsness, Hershel Williams and Robert Ingram prepare to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, right, and Medal of Honor recipients Leo Thorsness, Hershel Williams and Robert Ingram prepare to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipients Michael Fitzmaurice and Joe Jackson.
Medal of Honor recipients Michael Fitzmaurice and Joe Jackson. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipients Ronald Rosser, Rodolfo Hernandez and Salvatore Giunta, left to right, during Friday's ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.
Medal of Honor recipients Ronald Rosser, Rodolfo Hernandez and Salvatore Giunta, left to right, during Friday's ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipients Rodolfo Hernandez and Salvatore Giunta, after a wreath laying ceremony Friday at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns.
Medal of Honor recipients Rodolfo Hernandez and Salvatore Giunta, after a wreath laying ceremony Friday at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)
Medal of Honor recipient Harvey Barnum listens to the Citizen Service Before Self presentations Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. Behind him is Jack Pape, who was given the American Spirit Award.
Medal of Honor recipient Harvey Barnum listens to the Citizen Service Before Self presentations Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. Behind him is Jack Pape, who was given the American Spirit Award. (Rick Vasquez/Stars and Stripes)
Boy Scout Jack Pape accepts the "American Spirt Award" for his actions in two separate incidents: Helping Scouts injured in a tornado and administering CPR to a boy who had stopped breathing in a swimming pool.
Boy Scout Jack Pape accepts the "American Spirt Award" for his actions in two separate incidents: Helping Scouts injured in a tornado and administering CPR to a boy who had stopped breathing in a swimming pool. (Jeff Schogol/Stars and Stripes)

ARLINGTON, Va. – Marine Cpl. Christopher Conley was in Ramadi gearing up for a mission when his staff sergeant pulled him aside and told him the terrible news.

“Your mother has been hit by a car; she’s in critical condition; she’s in induced coma; she’s not looking so well; you need to go home,” Conley remembers him saying.

Marie Conley, a Boston crossing guard, had saved a young boy’s life by shielding him with her own body from a speeding car. Her son was able to get to the hospital in time to be with her when she passed away.

On Friday, Conley accepted an award presented to his mother by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, which recognizes individuals on National Medal of Honor Day for selflessness and courage.

About 30 Medal of Honor recipients attended Friday’s ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknowns. Also there was Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos.

“In the military we honor these heroes who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with the Congressional Medal of Honor, so it is fitting that the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is today recognizing American citizens, like you and I, who have demonstrated indomitable courage and selflessness with the ‘Citizen Service Before Self Honors’ and the ‘American Spirit Award’,” Amos said.

The other honorees Friday were:

Timothy Brooks, who jumped in the Delaware River to save a woman and her three children when their “duck” boat was struck by a barge and capsized.Dr. Pascal Spino, who has dedicated his life to treating children, often providing free healthcare to those who can’t afford to pay for it.Jack Pape, a Boy Scout who provided first aid to Scouts injured after a tornado. One year later, he gave CPR to a young boy who had stopped breathing while in a swimming pool.This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Since then, only 3,454 servicemembers have received the award, Amos said.

Conley said he was honored to be among the Medal of Honor recipients Friday, but if his mother were still alive, she likely would not have accepted the award.

“She would think that’s the ordinary thing to do,” he said. ”She always put her kids in front of her – not just her kids, but anyone else. She was always last because she wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of before her.”

jeffrey.schogol@stripes.osd.mil

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