Medal of Honor recipients gather in Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - About 55 recipients of the nation's highest military honor will gather this week in South Carolina for the annual Medal of Honor Convention.

After initial events in Columbia on Monday, medal recipients will enjoy fellowship, visit schools, meet with Citadel cadets and hold their annual banquet next weekend on the coast.

Only 3,450 medals have been awarded since the honor was instituted during the Civil War. Only 87 winners are still alive.

Retired Marine Maj. Gen. James Livingston of Mount Pleasant is a medal recipient who is helping organize the event. Livingston says the recipients will remind school children that they live in a free country but freedom is not free.

Participants will ride in open buses Wednesday along Charleston's Battery to attend an opening reception.

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