The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an American award founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) which pays homage to the immigrant experience and the contribution made to America by immigrants and their children. The medals are awarded to native-born and naturalized U.S. citizens.
The medals were established at the time of NECO's founding in 1986; a ceremony is held each May on Ellis Island. All branches of the United States Armed Forces traditionally participate. Both the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year’s recipients are read into the Congressional Record. The Great Hall where immigrants were once processed hosts the gala dinner which follows the ceremony. Approximately 100 medalists are honored each year. Past medalists include seven Presidents, including current President Donald J. Trump, as well as Nobel Prize winners and leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government.
Notable medalists include: