House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.
A tradition dating back to the American Revolution, the Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States Congress can bestow. Pursuant to S. 309, enacted on May 30, 2014, a single medal has been struck to honor collectively the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol in recognition of their military service and exemplary record. Founded just six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Civil Air Patrol – which was comprised of civilian volunteer pilot and aviators – logged 500,000 flying hours during World War II, performing such duties as sinking U-Boats and saving crash victims. On May 26, 1948, the Civil Air Patrol officially became an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
The ceremony took place on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET in National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol, Washington, DC.