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NEWS RELEASES
City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Knoxville To Host 2014 Medal of Honor Convention
Medal of Honor Convention 2014April 18, 2012 - Knoxville, Tennessee will be the host city of the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention September 9-13, 2014. Today leaders convened to share more information about the convention and its positive economic impact on the city of Knoxville and the surrounding region.

"We are two and a half years away from the convention, but we are already hard at work planning this milestone event for Knoxville," said Joe Thompson, who shares host committee co-chair responsibilities with Chris Coyne. "Our goal is to make this the best Medal of Honor Convention ever and to put Knoxville on the map as an ideal location for military-related conventions and reunions in the process." In addition to the Medal of Honor Convention, there are military reunion groups from all services and eras which produce dozens of events and gatherings each year.
Mayor Rogero discusses the Medal of Honor Convention coming to Knoxville
Mayor Rogero discusses the Medal of Honor Convention coming to Knoxville in 2014. Left to Right: Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Davis - 1968 Medal of Honor recipient, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and Joe Thompson - Knoxville Medal of Honor Convention Co-Chair
At this point, the Knoxville Medal of Honor host committee estimates the economic impact to the region may exceed $2 million. "In addition to the budget to produce the convention, which is anticipated to exceed $1 million and almost all of which will be spent with local vendors, the visitors we'll bring to Knoxville will have an impact through their hotel stays and purchases while here," said Thompson. The host committee is in the process of obtaining sponsorships and planning the scale of the events, which will ultimately include attendance into the thousands for several of the convention's associated events.

Today marked the official announcement of the selection of Knoxville as the host city for the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention. Sammy Davis, Medal of Honor recipient for his heroic acts in the Vietnam War, who was the featured speaker at Morgan Keegan's annual "In the Company of Heroes" luncheon, also represented the Medal of Honor Society at a variety of events to help publicize the upcoming convention.

The day began with an HonorAir sendoff of a plane-full of veterans and chaperones to Washington, D.C. at 8:30 a.m., followed by a presentation by Davis at Sacred Heart Cathedral School as part of the Medal of Honor Society's character development program. Later in the day Davis spoke to several hundred service men and woman at the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base.

City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero cited local initiatives supporting and commemorating veterans as important in the city's selection as the host of the 2014 event. "HonorAir Knoxville was founded by Eddie Mannis, who serves as chief operations officer and deputy to the mayor of the city of Knoxville," said Rogero. "HonorAir's dedication to honoring East Tennessee World War II and Korean War veteran by flying those veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor is truly inspiring," said Rogero. "Kicking off today's events with an HonorAir sendoff this morning was an emotional experience that only began to tell those veterans how much we appreciate their service to ensure the freedoms we continue to enjoy today. We could not be more delighted to host this fantastic convention in Knoxville in October 2014."

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett was equally effusive about the Medal of Honor Convention's 2014 occurrence in Knoxville. "Since this effort began, I have been extremely excited about what hosting the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention will mean for the people of East Tennessee," said Mayor Burchett. "The group coordinating the Knoxville convention's events is striking not only for its members' prominence but also for their singularity of purpose in making ours the most memorable convention of all."

Last month, the Medal of Honor Society voted unanimously to select Knoxville, Tennessee as the host city for its 2014 Medal of Honor convention planned for September 9-13, 2014. Knoxville was selected following a competitive evaluation process including consideration of its convention event plan, commitment to veterans, travel accessibility, and sponsorship commitments, among other criteria. The four-day convention will include public and private activities for Medal of Honor recipients, culminating with the Patriot Gala at the Knoxville Convention Center.

For more information, visit www.mohknoxville.com.

About the Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor, more commonly known as the Congressional Medal of Honor, was created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration given by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." In its 150+ year history, the Medal has been bestowed to fewer than 3,500 individuals. Presently, there are only 81 living recipients.
For Immediate Release
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