The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation announced today that it will honor Marie Conley of Boston with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Citizen Service Before Self Honor Award. This prestigious award recognizes unsung citizen heroes for outstanding acts of courage and honor. Conley was working as a Boston Police Civilian School Crossing Traffic Supervisor when in 2008 she shielded a young child from an oncoming vehicle, sacrificing herself to save the child. The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation will honor Marie and the 2 other awardees at the Citizens Before Self Ceremony to be held at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, March 25, 2011.
“This tremendous honor is a fitting tribute to the life of Marie Conley and I am so proud that the Boston Police Department and the City of Boston were able to nominate her for such an award,” said Mayor Menino. “Marie was a true hero who will be remembered for her selfless dedication and devotion to protecting our city’s youth. We are all grateful and humbled by her sacrifice.”
City of Boston and Boston Police Nomination to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Citizen Service Before Self Honor Award:
Ms. Marie Conley was employed as a Boston Police Civilian School Crossing Traffic Supervisor. She served in this capacity for 8 years working in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods assisting school children in navigating the streets so to arrive safely at their school. Many of these children are immigrant and non-English speaking, who had come to rely heavily upon their “Marie” for getting them to school safely. Then, on October 21, 2008 at 8:48 a.m. tragedy struck. STS Marie Conley having directed all traffic to halt, and then while crossing a young child across the street, observed a motor vehicle bearing down on her and the child. It was in this instant that Marie Conley, in a most heroic and selfless act of courage did reach out and grabbing the young child, threw him from the path of the oncoming vehicle, saving this child from serious bodily injury or possibly death.
Unfortunately, Marie Conley could not save herself. She was struck down by this vehicle and sustained massive head and body trauma. Despite the heroic efforts of responding EMT’s and continuing heroic measures by the staff at the Boston Medical Center, Marie Conley succumbed to her injuries a few days later.
Marie Conley was 59 years of age and a single mother of four, including one son, a United States Marine serving in combat duty in Iraq, another son a firefighter in Florida. Marie Conley was also a devoted grandmother of 5.
The 86 year old operator of the motor vehicle had been cited with Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian and was pending an appearance before the clerk magistrate at Dorchester District Court. Marie Conley’s family in court stated that they have forgiven the driver and wished his license revoked, but no jail time served. They are a remarkable family.
The Boston Police Department was deeply saddened by this incident. A School Crossing Guard had never been lost while performing their duties. Marie will be remembered for her selfless dedication and devotion to protecting our city’s youth.
It is for Marie’s heroic act, which is above and beyond the call of duty, that I am proud to nominate her for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Citizen Service Before Self Honor Award.