Published in the September 15, 2015 edition.

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield Memorial High School has been selected as one of the few sites in the state to be visited by Medal of Honor recipients as they gather for their annual convention in Boston this week.

Many of the nation’s 78 living Medal of Honor recipients will be in Boston when the Congressional Medal of Honor Society holds its annual convention and Patriot Award Gala in the city for an unprecedented third time.

Medal of Honor recipients Harvey “Barney” Barnum and Robert Ingram are expected to land in a Blackhawk helicopter on Walsh Field and then take part in a reception inside the Charbonneau Field House tomorrow morning.

In a brief statement, Wakefield Memorial High Principal Richard Metropolis said, “Wakefield Memorial High School has the privilege of hosting two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients on the morning of Wednesday, September 16th. The school community is looking forward to hearing the wisdom these honorees can share with our students, faculty and staff. We wanted to make the larger community aware of this exciting event, even though it is a closed event for school related members and invited guests only. Please be aware that the honorees will be arriving via helicopter and landing on Walsh Field adjacent to the high school around 9 a.m.”

“These Medal of Honor Recipients have formed a strong bond with the city and people of Boston and to be able to honor them here for the third time in 14 years is unprecented in the history of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society,’’ said Thomas J. Lyons, Chairman of the Boston Medal of Honor Convention Host Committee. “The service and sacrifices they have made on behalf of the nation, and their unwavering support for our men and women in uniform, is awe inspiring and we intend to host their convention in a manner that will truly honor and celebrate these incredible heroes.’’

“The Medal of Honor recipients are thrilled to be coming back to Boston this week,’’ said Thomas G. Kelley, one of two Medal of Honor Recipients who live in Massachusetts. “The outpouring of warmth we experienced in our previous conventions in 2001 and 2006 left an indelible impression on all of us. I am especially excited that our most recent recipients from Afghanistan and Vietnam who have not been here before will be able to experience the sense of patriotism and honor which is the hallmark of Boston,’’ added Kelley, a retired Navy Captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant and courageous actions in Vietnam on June 15, 1969.

Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., the other Medal of Honor Recipient who resides in Massachusetts and who is also a retired Navy Captain, received his Medal of Honor for his gallant and courageous actions as a fighter pilot in North Korea on Dec. 4, 1950.

“Every year a committee designated by the members of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society selects a location for its annual convention and with one exception, no city has hosted the society more than once and that city is Boston,’’ said Hudner. “The city must be proud to be chosen not once but three times. We are proud of the warm relationship that exists between us and look forward to being in Boston again this week.’’

The 2015 convention will culminate with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Patriot Award Gala on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Seaport World Trade Center where the Recipients will honor Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Bob Woodruff of ABC News and celebrity Chef Robert Irvine for their commitment to our veterans and men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.

Created in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest and rarest military decoration. It is bestowed by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, upon a member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself 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 the enemy of the United States. Fewer than 3,500 individuals have received the Medal, half of which have been posthumously. There are currently only 78 living recipients.

In 1958, the United States Congress chartered the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. The purpose of the Society, among other things, is to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal of Honor. The living recipients of the Medal of Honor constitute the members of the Society. These recipients congregate annually for their national Medal of Honor Convention.