Nation's bravest heroes honored in Chinatown

Block party recognizes Medal of Honor recipients

Published  10:30 PM HST Oct 05, 2012
HONOLULU -

More than 50 Medal of Honor recipients were honored at a block party in Chinatown Friday night.

There was a traditional lion dance, live music as well as a ceremony recognizing the service members.

"To be with my fellow Medal of Honor recipients is my greatest pride because we share something in common that not a lot of people understand," said Drew Dix, a Medal of Honor recipient.

Honolulu hosted the annual convention for the honorees.  One of the youngest is 33-year-old Leroy Petry who earned his medal just last year for his bravery in Afghanistan.

"A hand grenade came over to the building and landed in between us." said Petry. "I picked it up and attempted to throw it away from my guys. As soon as I opened my hand to release it, it exploded."

For the last 30 years, the service members reunited at these annual conventions.  However, this was the first time the convention hosted a block party for the honorees.  The goal was to let the public meet these heroes one-on-one.

"It was pretty amazing just being in the presence of him. I couldn't explain it but I it felt pretty cool." said Manuel Navarro who met a Medal of Honor recipient.

After a week of public service and speaking at local schools, the block party was a chance heroes to relax before their convention wraps up on Saturday.

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