HONOLULU - Recipients of the U.S. military's highest honor are converging on Honolulu for the 2012 Medal of Honor Convention, which begins on Monday.

Organizers expect 54 of the 81 living awardees will attend the convention. They span the generations, from Afghanistan-era recipients Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Salvatore Giunta, to World War II veterans like George Sakato and Walter Ehlers. Among all expected attendees, 42 earned their awards in Vietnam, six during the Korean War, four during WWII and two in Afghanistan. There are no living recipients from the war in Iraq.

Public events include a stone memorial dedication in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, at the Punchbowl, on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The recipients and several other veterans are scheduled to attend, according to organizers. Free off-site parking and shuttle service will be available at Lincoln Elementary School, Stevenson Middle School and Roosevelt High School starting at 8 a.m.

On Friday, actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will headline a downtown block party from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., on Nimitz Highway between Smith Street and Nuuanu Avenue.

On Saturday, the recipients will appear at a book signing at the military-run Hale Koa hotel in Waikiki. There are two signing sessions: 9-11 a.m., and 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Tickets for the book signing cost $20 and can be purchased online at There are 500 tickets available for each session, and each ticket holder will receive a book.

The final event is a dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday, with a reception aboard the USS Missouri. Tickets to the dinner cost $500 and can be purchased by contacting

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