The “American Spirit Awards” gala celebrated individuals and organizations whose work reflects the values and spirits of those who served the United States of America during the World War II years. Aptly hosted at The National WWII Museum, the fête honored individuals who inspire others through acts of courage, sacrifice, initiative and generosity, particularly in the areas of leadership, service to country or community and education.
The 2017 American Spirit Award recipients were David N. Rubenstein and David McCullough. The 2017 American Spirit Medallion was presented to James L. Barksdale, Captain James A. Lovell and Phyllis M. Taylor. Additionally, John P. Laborde, Catherine Long, Sergeant Major Mike “Iron Mike” Mervosh (Retired USMC), Dr. Billy Michal, The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, David I. Oreck and The Honorable Kaliste J. Saloom Jr. were awarded the 2017 Silver Service Medallion.
A 2015 American Spirit Award winner, famed NBC anchor and Greatest Generation author Tom Brokaw, joined as Master of Ceremonies for the occasion.
The menu was prepared by chef Tory McPhail, and included a salad of Louisiana heirloom tomatoes, crispy leg of Moscovy duck and a tasting of spring berries, with wine pairings to complement each course.
More than 600 guests attended, and gala entertainment was provided by The Midtown Men, four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys.