35W bridge collapse survivor receives Above & Beyond Citizen Honor

35W bridge collapse survivor receives Above & Beyond Citizen Honor
Photo by mtellin

Jeremy Hernandez of Minneapolis, Minnesota was one of three Americans honored today with the Above & Beyond Citizen Honor award. The honor is one of the most prestigious civilian awards, chosen by the less than 100 living Medal of Honor recipients.

Hernandez, 22, was honored for helping save 50 children on a school bus when the 35W bridge collapsed Aug. 1, 2007.

To get the full story of Hernandez as the bridge collapsed, check out this New York Times profile.

Here are the other heroes that were honored alongside Hernandez:

Rick Rescorla of New Jersey, posthumously, for going above and beyond on September 11, 2001 by courageously rescuing his fellow citizens by ordering the evacuation of all 2,700 Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. employees from the building and leading them to safety, and following, by re-entering the building to search for survivors.

David Bryan of Kansas City, Missouri, for going above and beyond by valiantly rescuing a motorist from a burning automobile on Eastbound I-70, one mile from the city of Higginsville, Missouri.

The recipients were announced today at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The Medal of Honor recipients pick one nominee from each state and the District of Columbia and narrow that list down to a final three each year.

More from the announcement:

"I, along with all of the living Medal of Honor recipients, salute Rick Rescorla, David Bryan and Jeremy Hernandez for their selfless acts," said Bruce Whitman, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. "As true heroes among us, these three remarkable recipients epitomize the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors concept of 'service above self' by representing the values of courage, sacrifice and selfless service. Their actions are an inspiration to Americans everywhere."

"The Above and Beyond Citizens Honors recipients are evidence that the ideals demonstrated on the battlefield by those who received the nation's highest distinction, the Medal of Honor, are as applicable to civilian life as they are to military life" said David J. McIntyre, Jr., Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board member and TriWest Healthcare Alliance President and CEO.

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