The annual Legion of Valor National Convention opened Thursday at the Veterans Memorial Museum in downtown Fresno with events continuing through Saturday.
About 100 Legion members from across the U.S. arrived Wednesday, said Michael Harris, deputy director of the museum. On Thursday, Legion members toured the California Air National Guard 114th Fighter Wing base at Fresno Yosemite International Airport and the Forestiere Underground Gardens, then visited the museum in the afternoon for a patriotic concert and awards ceremony.
Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Ginther with the 144th was awarded a silver cross during the ceremony for an act of gallantry and valor on the local level: last July, Ginther jumped into an irrigation canal near the base to save a man from drowning after his car crashed into the water. Also at Thursday’s ceremony, Medal of Honor and distinguished service cross winners were recognized and Vietnam veterans were called forward for a special tribute.
The Legion of Valor members were treated to a barbecue dinner Thursday night. On Friday, they have a full-day trip to Yosemite National Park.
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Saturday, the group convenes back at the museum for its annual memorial service and business meetings and a Saturday evening banquet.