50 of America’s Most Decorated War Heroes

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

There is no greater service to the nation than giving one’s life for one’s country. President Abraham Lincoln movingly referred to sacrifice of Union soldiers in his Gettysburg Address in 1863 as the “last full measure of devotion.” The United States honors military heroes on holidays including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day at events across the country, which have particular resonance in America’s military cities.

Where Memorial Day — which honors those killed in the line of duty — was once observed with introspection and solemnity, and Veterans Day pays tribute to the military service men and women who have died or are alive, on Independence Day people go to beaches or lakes or host barbecues. The day is capped off by watching a fireworks display, a common feature in the grandest military parades in history.

Some Americans, though, pause their celebration to remember a loved one who passed in the service of the nation or is presently on duty protecting our freedom and liberty at one of America’s largest military bases around the world.

24/7 Tempo pays tribute to some of the most decorated war heroes in our nation’s history. We created our list from information obtained from sources such as the Department of Defense.