Baker, DeLeo help welcome Medal of Honor recipients

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Written by Antonio Caban

Medal of Honor recipients from across the country received a warm and emotional welcome from Gov. Charlie Baker at the State House Wednesday, part of a convention honoring those who have received the military’s highest honor.

More than 40 living award recipients attending the Medal of Honor Convention were recognized in speeches by Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Veterans’ Services Secretary Francisco Urena in Memorial Hall.

[Watch: Welcome Ceremony]

“This has always been for me the most amazing thing about the people who serve this country.They do amazing things, but if you talk to them about it, it’s always the same: ‘I only did my duty,'” Baker said after pausing to gather his emotions while recounting a story about Civil War soldier Sergeant William Carney.

Carney fought for the Union in Massachusetts’ famed 54th Infantry Regiment, and was the first African-American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor.

Describing what he called the “anonymity of valor,” Baker added that he’s amazed service men and women view their “acts of extraordinary bravery under extreme circumstances” as just another day on the job.

“The understated nature of the way they go about living their lives is truly amazing especially in an age like the one we live in today where so many people can’t wait to tell you how great they are,” Baker said of service members.

This is the third time Boston has hosted the Medal of Honor Convention, which will host special events for award recipients through Sunday.

Copyright State House News Service