Medal scaled

Boyle 'proudly accepts' AOH JFK Medal

Congressman Brendan Boyle proudly shows his JFK Medal

By Irish Echo Staff

Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) has "proudly accepted" the prestigious John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Medal for 2020 from the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians.

The medal is the highest honor that the Hibernians bestow. Congressman Boyle is the first Pennsylvania-based member of the U.S. House of Representatives to receive the medal.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

"I am truly humbled and honored to accept this prestigious award," said Boyle.

"I would like to thank the national Ancient Order of Hibernians for this special recognition. From my first day in the halls of Congress, I have made it a priority to use my position to address Irish-American issues and to further the U.S.-Ireland relationship.

"I am particularly proud of our tireless work in preventing the re-imposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland in the wake of Brexit, helping the undocumented Irish in America, and honoring the 1916 Easter Rising centennial with a permanent memorial on Capitol grounds. I look forward to continuing this important work."

During the virtual award presentation via Zoom, AOH President Judge James McKay spoke of Congressman Boyle's work on maintaining the Good Friday agreement amid Brexit, securing funding for the International Fund for Ireland, and his dedication to Irish immigration.

“Brendan is a true leader who recognizes the role Irish America played in building our country, and the importance of the special relationship shared by the United States and Ireland,” said Judge McKay.

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Medal and Fund Committee was established following the 1964 Albany, New York National Convention to honor the memory of the nation’s 35th President, who was a member of AOH Division 14, Watertown, Massachusetts from 1947 until his assassination on November 22, 1963.

According to the Report of the Committee on the Kennedy Memorial: “The award would consist of a gold medallion designed for this purpose, to be awarded to a Catholic of Irish birth or descent, outstanding in his or her field of endeavor…”

The medal was designed by P. Frank Kean of Massachusetts, AOH Past National President (1956-58) and first struck in 1966. In 1980 it was changed from an annual award to a biennial award.